|Nguyễn Thị Hồng Nhung, in Ô Môn District, improves the production process to make clean bean sprouts. — VNA/VNS Photo
CẦN THƠ — Two women in Cần Thơ City in the Mekong Delta have been developing successful businesses in clean agricultural produce.
Nguyễn Thị Hồng Nhung, Ô Môn District, has improved the production process for making clean bean sprouts, while Đoàn Thị Hồng Thắm, Ninh Kiều District, has applied advanced technology to produce herbal tea.
Ten years ago, Nhung started taking over a job making bean sprouts from her mother, but the traditional method of soaking green beans in a large jar did not bring in much money.
In 2017, she started applying technology to bean sprout production.
Nhung studied Japanese techniques by planting bean sprouts in a plastic tub, turning on the air conditioner, and spraying them with a cooling mist. The Japanese model soon brought profits of more than one hundred million đồng per year.
“According to this new method, from 15kg of beans, I can harvest about 150kg of sprouts after four days of soaking and incubation,” Nhung said. "This is much faster than the old method."
She has invested in building a roofed house with water taps, air conditioning and cooling-mist systems.
"At first, I had difficulties because I had no experience in adjusting the machines, but after six months, I was able to operate the system smoothly.”
With an average price of VNĐ7,000 per kilo, Nhung sells the produce to local vendors, supermarkets, and restaurants in Cần Thơ.
She now earns an annual profit of over VNĐ300 million.
Nhung's production facility has also created jobs for six regular workers with a salary of VNĐ6 million per month each.
Võ Tuấn Anh, one of the employees, said that before the pandemic broke out, he worked in Bình Dương Province's industrial park.
But he returned to his hometown and has been fortunate to have a job here for the past two months.
"With a monthly salary of VNĐ6 million and working close to home, I can take care of my family," he said.
Võ Kim Thoa, chairwoman of the Cần Thơ City Women's Union, said the union appreciated Nhung's clean model for producing sprouts.
“She is always willing to share techniques with local women who want to start up a business," Thoa said.
Đoàn Thi Hồng Thắm has always had a passion for natural herbs, so gave up her job as a pharmacist at a State-owned enterprise to start a business in herbal-tea production two years ago.
She believes herbal-tea cures diseases and improves health.
"I have noticed the trend of consumers in recent years preferring natural herbal products,” she said.
Although Thắm already knew about medicine and herbal plants, she was very cautious when starting her business, taking time to acquire knowledge in economics, business administration and marketing.
"I have seen some businesses try to get in on the rush, but their start-ups failed. Starting a business requires a process of learning and accumulating experience. When I hit 40 years old, I decided I had equipped myself with enough experience to start a business with real passion," said Thắm.
After two years, Thắm's herbal tea production factory has an average revenue of VNĐ300 million per month. The production line is certified in international standards of food safety.
“The products are more and more diversified, and loved by customers,” said Nguyễn Trung Quân, a long-time buyer.
Every month, her factory purchases more than two tonnes of herbal plants from contracts she signs with local co-operatives, which contributes to helping farmers get regular sales and more stability.
Thắm's project "Production of herbal teas - exploiting herbal tree values" even won second prize in a start-up contest in the Mekong Delta 2021.
Võ Kim Thoa said the Women's Union would coordinate with the city's Union of Cooperatives and various agencies to support local women starting their own businesses. — VNS