RCE Southern Vietnam - 2021


Ninh Thuan province
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Southern Vietnam
Contributing organization(s) : 
International University (IU), Foreign Trade University (FTU), Cleaner Production Center CPART, Thai Duong Fertilizer Company, Vietnam Agriculture Institution
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Duong Nguyen Hong Nhung
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Southern Vietnam & International University (VNU HCMC)
Format of project: 
Audiovisual, Puppetry
Language of project: 
English, Vietnamese
Date of submission:
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
International University - Vietnam National University HCM City
Address: Quarter 6, Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City
Phone: (028) 37244270
Fax: (028) 37244271
Email: info@hcmiu.edu.vn
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Agriculture plays an important role in Vietnam socio-economy where 20% of the population work in agricultural businesses and agricultural areas account for 40% total land. Safe and green agricultural practices will therefore have tremendous impacts not only on human health but also the environment, economy, and the whole society.
Ninh Thuan is a coastal province in Central Vietnam suffering from serious drought in the last several years. 22% of the population in Ninh Thuan are ethnic minority groups living in remote areas with harsh natural conditions. Creating local and sustainable jobs for them will help to stabilize the social and economic aspects of the region.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Vietnam uses 100,000+ tons of pesticide annually but only 60-70% farmers follow the correct procedure, leading to negative impacts on human health, environment, and the economy. Long-term exposure to chemical toxins causes detrimental damages to farmers and consumers. Chemical pesticides also drain into rivers, directly harm aquatic lives, and also contaminate underground water. Pesticide overuse also reduces soil quality, kills pollinators, and accumulates toxins in agricultural products.
Neem forest is very important to the ecosystem of Ninh Thuan, but is currently diminishing fast for farming purposes, which facilitates desertification and converts green area into hash living condition.
October, 2020
During the last 10 years, the Vietnamese government has made substantial efforts in boosting the use of safe biopesticides, but its market remains as low as only 2.5%. Different solutions have been implemented but have shown to be expensive and not suitable for most farmers. The real root cause is that the farmers do not have access to affordable and safe pesticides while the market is flooded with toxic but low-priced options.

However, Vietnam actually has a lot of advantages to develop biopesticides from natural resources. Neem is a popular tree in Ninh Thuan that has been proven to work on more than 200 types of pests, but currently neem is not utilized because of its high price and complicated use. Neem trees also have many other advantages such as preventing soil erosion and fighting desertification. Neem forest is essential to the region but is being chopped down for farming purposes because it does not create income for locals.

Our solution is to combine nanotechnology with natural pesticides such as neem and herbal plants to fight against harmful pests. We aim for sustainable, green, safe, and affordable pest control that benefits farmers, local Ninh Thuan residents and the whole society.
NanoNeem offers transformation toward green, pro-health and environmentally benign pest control practice at affordable price. By combining the naturally available defense mechanism against pests in neem and other herbal plants with state-of-the-art nanotechnology, NanoNeem has excellent pesticidal properties with higher stability at a lower price, thus significantly enhancing the efficiency of natural ingredients.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The biopesticide product is made from neem oil in combination with other naturally derived ingredients. Neem seeds will be purchased from local residents living closed to proximity to neem forest. To commercialize the product, the project includes 3 parts: (1) research and development of the formulas in the lab, (2) testing and continuing improvement of the formulas and (3) scale-up production, licensing, and commercialization.
With a strong team in research and development, part (1) has been executed in our laboratory at International University. Regarding part (2), we have signed the contract with Center for Organic Agriculture Promotion and Studies - Vietnam Agriculture Institute to carry out field tests for our products. With part (3), we are scaling up production and we have signed a five- year-contract with CPART to distribute one line of our product, with average amount of 10,000 L/month.
Size of academic audience: 
Our product was tested on various types of tropical plants including rambutan, green turnip, avocado, oranges, green tea, ambarella… Specifically on tea plants, Nanoneem helped fight against silk beetles and thrips in the summer while tea green fly, spider mite, stink bug was repelled in winter. Additionally, the feedback from home gardeners mentioned the high safety to children and pets, the comfortable smell, the easy technique. Nanotechnology and the synergistic effect from the combination of neem with other herbal extracts, Nanoneem can attack a wide range of target in different seasons with the consistent loading of active ingredients.
Lessons learned: 
At first, we thought of our product as the sole answer for green agriculture and we aim to produce the most effective biopesticide from neem on the market. But as we develop, we realize we also need to combine with other green pest control approaches such as using natural enemy and microorganism; collaborate with organic fertilizers companies and reliable certifying agents. Besides developing our products, we will also investigate how it interacts with other pesticides and fertilizers. The ultimate goal is not our product, but the green agriculture that we could be part of.
Key messages: 
With advanced nanotechnology and natural herbal resources, we offer a transformation toward green, pro-health and environmentally benign pest control practices. Our biopesticides are developed from neem sustainably harvested from neem forest, thus helping protect the forest while improving income for local people living in harsh conditions in remote areas.
+ Community (Crowdfunding): 17.900.000 VND ($780 USD)
+ International University: 10.000.000 VND ($435 USD)
+ ''Nhung ngoi sao ho Duong" Funding: 100.000.000 VND ($4.350 USD)
+ VinTech investment funding for R&D: VND ($43.500 USD)
+ Ba Ria-Vung Tau Department of Science & Technology ($64.000 USD)
Total: $113.065 USD


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Images of product prototype.jpg (1.29 MB) Images of product prototype Huong Le
Image icon Limited knowledge of toxic pesticide .png (1.55 MB) Limited knowledge about toxic pesticide Hanh Nguyen & Vu Le
Image icon Approved results.png (1.4 MB) Approved results Thuy Tran
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level