Agribusiness companies play a critical role in providing safe and affordable food, creating jobs, and reducing poverty in rural areas. ADB's private sector operations partners with agribusiness companies regionally and globally to bring them to frontier markets and deliver these transformational impacts.
In Viet Nam, Hasfarm Holdings, Southeast Asia’s largest flower growing and exporting company, has created jobs and provided an alternative source of income for local farmers. ADB's $20 million investment is supporting the company's expansion plans eyeing to replicate its business model in the People's Republic of China and Indonesia.
Central Highlands, Viet Nam— About 50% of Viet Nam’s population still rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. But small-scale farmers lack access to finance, services, and infrastructure. Lack of access to land and water hampers productivity, while extreme weather events have serious and long-term effects.
Transition from cash crops and subsistence agriculture to high-value crops is an effective way of providing safe and affordable food, creating jobs, and reducing poverty in rural areas.
Agribusiness companies like Hasfarm Holdings have a critical role to play in this transition.
ADB invested $20 million to support Hasfarm Holdings’ continued growth.
“So, the core of our business is our own operations in greenhouses. For some flowers, particularly carnations, we can contract out to farmers who have less investment. And so we have quite a big contract farming operation,” shares Charles Target, Hasfarm Holdings founder.
“We have about one hectare of farmland for growing flowers. Dalat Hasfarm provides us the young plants and technical training to develop our flower farm. And then they buy our harvested flowers for a fixed price throughout the year, which is a stable way to increase profits of contract farmers like me,” says Nguyen Quoc Son, Dalat Hasfarm contract farmer.
Hasfarm Holdings is Southeast Asia’s largest flower growing and export company.
“So, we have a whole network of people around us. And we try to support them with technical knowledge and also with money. We have a loan program to help them invest if they need to put up shelters or put an irrigation,” continues Target.
Founded in 1992 as an organic vegetable business on a 25-hectare farm in Dalat, Hasfarm diversified into flowers and is expanding its operations into the People’s Republic of China and Indonesia.
“We started here 30 years ago. We wanted to do organic vegetable and from that we found a partner in the flower business. And we started growing flowers up here in Dalat and exporting them to the rest of Asia. We’re trying to double the size of our business. We’re doing that in here in Viet Nam. We’re particularly expanding in China. And we’re trying to expand in Indonesia as well,” affirms Target.
ADB’s investment in Hasfarm Holdings supports the company’s expansion plans that will help raise incomes of contract farmers and create local jobs especially for women.
“I think we’ve had a pretty big influence in terms of developing techniques. When we first came here there was not a single piece of shelter or greenhouse or anything in the whole of Dalat. And now it goes almost 5,000 hectares of covered growing. We’re one of the biggest employers in this area. And it has been phenomenal watching it over the last 30 years develop,” recounts Target.
One of the female employees in Dalat Hasfarm also shares her experiences. “I attended a lot of training in my 22 years with Dalat Hasfarm. I was trained to become a manager. Besides getting a good salary, working here gives me more chance to improve myself.”
ADB’s goal is to scale up agribusiness financing in all its developing member countries so companies can grow, increase incomes, and create jobs.
“There is just so much to do to provide healthy food to consumers, prosperity to farmers, excellence to the industry, and sustainability in the use of natural resources in the region,” shares Martin Lemoine, Unit Head, Agribusiness, Private Sector Operations, ADB.