Thursday May 4th marked the grand opening of the Powering Aquaculture Progress (PAP) R&D facility in Vinh Long, Vietnam.
More than 300 guests attended the event, including representatives from lead partner De Heus, internationally renowned aquaculture companies, leading aquaculture experts from all over the world, government, and farmers from across the Mekong Delta. With an indoor Recirculating Aquaculture System consisting of 111 tanks and 25 outdoor ponds varying between 100 - 2000m2 in surface area, its facilities rival the top aquaculture research centres in Asia.
Mr. Gabor Fluit, Business Group Director of De Heus Asia, described the vision of the research facility not only as a centre for De Heus feed development, but as a “centre for collaboration between public and private stakeholders in the industry”. The opening demonstrated the commitment of De Heus to become a lead player in Asia's rapidly developing aquaculture sector.
Fresh Studio has been a key partner since project inception, co-developing the centre’s vision and supporting the design and construction phase. Fresh Studio staff is currently responsible for farm management, executing experiments, and carrying out dissemination objectives.
The first of these dissemination objectives is the organisation and facilitation of a training program designed for Tilapia and Pangasius farmers supported by De Heus. The training is not purely a class-room exercise on farming techniques, but provides a platform for farmers to share best practices and implement field trials together with farmers.
In the long term, the aquaculture R&D facility should become a hub for development of concrete solutions from feeding practices to farm management. Together with the high-quality feed developed by De Heus, these locally adapted solutions should help address a wider range of issues facing producers in the region.
This state-of-the-art facility should become the nexus where innovations developed can be tested and adapted to local conditions. By bringing together industry and academia, De Heus and its implementing partner Fresh Studio, Can Tho and Wageningen University hope to provide innovative solutions to sector-defined problems, and support the growth, sustainability and profitability of aquaculture in Vietnam.