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Billion-dollar tomato garden amidst coffee land - Lam Dong, Vietnam.

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Lam Dong, a picturesque province nestled in the heart of Vietnam's coffee land. The idea of cultivating tomato in an area known for its coffee production might seem unconventional, but it stems from the vision of a group of innovative agricultural entrepreneurs. Their goal is to harness Lam Dong's unique climate and soil conditions to create a state-of-the-art tomato cultivation hub.


Amidst vast coffee plantations, a modern greenhouse, meticulously invested in, is nurturing thriving green tomato plants. By investing billions of Vietnam Dong to change the crop structure, a farmer in the remote region has dared to surpass his own limitations, bringing in high income through premium crops.


Billion-dollar tomato garden amidst coffee land - Lam Dong, Vietnam.
Billion-dollar tomato garden amidst coffee land - Lam Dong, Vietnam.

With its unique climate and soil characteristics, Lam Dong has emerged as a promising tomato cultivation hub.

With its unique climate and soil characteristics, Lam Dong has emerged as a promising tomato cultivation hub.

The weather in Lam Dong province, Vietnam, is favorable for tomato cultivation. Lam Dong province has a temperate climate due to its highland location, with cool temperatures throughout the year. The average annual temperature ranges from 15 to 24 degrees Celsius (59 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit), providing an ideal environment for growing tomatoes.


The province experiences distinct seasons, with a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October. This seasonal pattern allows for proper irrigation and water management during both planting and harvesting periods. The cool and mild temperatures in Lam Dong province contribute to slow and steady tomato growth, allowing the fruits to develop their flavors fully. The region's fertile soil, enriched with organic matter, further supports healthy plant growth and abundant yields.


With its unique climate and soil characteristics, Lam Dong province has emerged as a promising tomato cultivation hub. Farmers in the region have embraced tomato farming, taking advantage of the favorable conditions to produce high-quality tomatoes for both domestic consumption and international markets. As a result, Lam Dong has positioned itself as a significant player in Vietnam's tomato industry.


A billion-dollar tomatoes garden amidst coffee land.


Da Loan has long been known as the coffee-growing district of Duc Trong commune. The residents mainly rely on coffee cultivation for their livelihoods, but recently, some farmers have started to transition part of their land to grow vegetables in greenhouses. Mr. Do Minh Hai, from Da Thanh hamlet, Da Loan commune, is one of the pioneers in this practice. Unlike the temporary net houses seen around the area, Mr. Do Minh Hai has invested in high-quality greenhouses and adopted modern farming techniques, incurring a significant cost. He shared, "Our newly built greenhouse covers about 4 sao (approximately 1.6 acres), with an investment of over one billion VND, including a sophisticated irrigation system. From the beginning, we invested in and installed all supporting tools such as automatic fertilization, temperature, and pH monitoring devices, making farming much more convenient."


A billion-dollar tomato garden amidst coffee land.
A billion-dollar tomato garden amidst coffee land.

In the first crop, Mr. Do Minh Hai's family planted Runner tomatoes, a premium variety belonging to the Beef tomato group, known for its large size, sweet taste, thick skin, and firm flesh, making it suitable for long-distance transportation. Over the 4-sao area, they planted approximately 10,000 Runner tomato plants, all on elevated beds to meet technical requirements. Mr. Hai explained, "The tomatoes are grown in grow bags, completely isolated from the soil. Drip irrigation is directly connected to each tomato plant. The irrigation and fertilization systems are fully automated and controlled through a mobile app. Depending on the weather and growth stage of the plants, we adjust the irrigation accordingly—more water on sunny days and less during rainy periods, considering the high atmospheric moisture. Fertilization follows a similar process, with the nutrients mixed in separate tanks, scheduled and automatically applied through the app."


High-Tech Applications: A Suitable Approach for Tomato Cultivation.


According to Mr. Nguyen The Nhuan, the Director of the Center for Potato, Vegetable, and Flower Research (PVF Research Center), Vietnam currently has approximately 25,000 hectares of tomato cultivation, with yields ranging from 30 to 40 tons per hectare. In Lam Dong province alone, there are 7,000 hectares dedicated to tomato farming, contributing over 50% of the country's total tomato production, with yields reaching an impressive 65 to 70 tons per hectare (for off-field cultivation). These statistics demonstrate that developing tomato cultivation in Lam Dong is well-suited to the region's diverse climate conditions, fertile soil, and the agricultural expertise of local farmers.


One key advantage of adopting high-tech solutions in tomato cultivation is the ability to closely monitor and control environmental factors. Controlled environment agriculture, through the use of greenhouses and hydroponic systems, allows farmers to manipulate temperature, humidity, and light conditions, creating an optimal environment for tomato growth throughout the year. This controlled setting minimizes the impact of adverse weather conditions and potential disease outbreaks, reducing crop losses and ensuring a steady supply of high-quality tomatoes.


High-Tech Applications: A Suitable Approach for Tomato Cultivation.
High-Tech Applications: A Suitable Approach for Tomato Cultivation.

Moreover, advanced technologies enable the application of precise and customized nutrient solutions, promoting optimal plant nutrition and growth. Automated systems for fertilization and pest control can enhance efficiency while reducing the use of chemical inputs, leading to more sustainable and eco-friendly farming practices.Beyond improving productivity and resource management, the integration of high-tech approaches in tomato cultivation also opens up new market opportunities. With an emphasis on quality and consistency, Lam Dong's tomatoes can find a niche in the export market, appealing to consumers who value safe, traceable, and sustainably produced food.


To fully harness the potential of high-tech applications in tomato cultivation, it is crucial to provide support and training to farmers. Government initiatives and collaborations with research institutions can facilitate access to the latest technologies and knowledge, empowering farmers with the necessary skills to adopt these innovations effectively. The utilization of high-tech applications in tomato farming aligns perfectly with the conditions in Lam Dong province. By embracing modern technologies and best practices, farmers can maximize yields, optimize resource utilization, and elevate the quality of their produce. This synergy between technology and traditional farming expertise sets the stage for a prosperous and sustainable future for the tomato industry in Lam Dong, Vietnam.


High-Tech Applications: A Suitable Approach for Tomato Cultivation.
The "billion-dollar" tomato garden in Lam Dong, Vietnam, is a testament to human ingenuity and the potential for innovation in agriculture. By breaking away from conventional norms and capitalizing on the region's natural resources, this project has the potential to revolutionize the way tomatoes are cultivated and traded. As Lam Dong emerges as a key player in the tomato industry, it stands as a shining example of sustainable development and economic prosperity in the heart of coffee land.






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