Loofah fibre making project wins top prize in green entrepreneurship contest

Tuesday, Oct 31, 2023 11:22

A three-member team from Đồng Tháp Province win the first prize for their project titled "Connecting people with nature" - Mr Luffa in the 2023 Green Entrepreneurship Competition in HCM City on October 29. — Photo Trần Quỳnh

A project that makes products from loofah fibre by Đỗ Đăng Khoa, Đỗ Mạnh Quân and Lê Na of Đồng Tháp Province beat 36 others from across the country in the final round to win the 2023 Green Entrepreneurship Competition and its first prize of VNĐ150 million (US$6,162).

The project titled Connecting people with nature - Mr Luffa was started in 2017 to create new and practical products from natural and environment-friendly materials, in the process also adding value to agricultural wastes and by-products.

It now offers a range of products that are becoming increasingly popular at home and abroad.

They include loofah pet toys, kitchen cleaning products and bath sponges that are also sold through the AEON supermarket chain and regularly exported to Japan and Korea.

They have also achieved three- and four-star OCOP certification.

By successfully commercialising its products, the project also offers a steady source of income for local farmers by consuming their raw materials.

It plans to further expand its production scale in the near future to increase employment opportunities for local workers and enhance supply capabilities because environmentally friendly products are currently a global trend.

At the award ceremony on October 29, the organising board also presented two second prizes and three third and consolation prizes each, worth VNĐ80 million, VNĐ50 million and VNĐ30 million to other outstanding projects.

Organised by the Business Studies and Assistance Centre (BSA), Vinamit Joint Stock Company, the Foundation of Youth Empowerment, and Cà Mau Petroleum Fertilizer Joint Stock Company, the competition, in its ninth edition this year, attracted 178 entries from 36 provinces and cities with 108 entering the semi-final round.

A juror, economist Phạm Chi Lan, said the finalists this year had made very good preparations to cover crucial aspects like utilising native resources, focusing on green and ecological factors and the use of technology.

They paid greater attention to market factors than competitors in previous years, she said.

“This is a very good thing because, since the competition in the market is very keen, paying attention to the market from the early days of their projects is a good start.”

Vũ Kim Anh, BSA’s deputy director and the person in charge of the competition, said: “In the 10 years of the green entrepreneurship journey, we have built a young agripreneur cohort across the country good in many aspects.

“They know how to apply technology to create new products with high standards, with many projects even obtaining organic certification from demanding markets such as the US, EU and Japan.” — VNS

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