Online knowledge is usually not thought to benefit agriculture, but not in the case of farmer Phan Van Hung who has earned half billion a year from farming techniques he learned from the Internet.
Mr. Phan Van Hung (36, living in Cam Toai Dong village, Hoa Phong commune, Hoa Vang district, Da Nang) once worked as a tour guide and in computer repair and construction engineering before deciding to grow mushrooms.
Hung said he carved out his career from scratch in 2017. “I was completely alien to mushroom growing techniques, so I had to rely on online videos and experiments for reference. After seeing some improvements in my skills, I started to pilot growing abalone and Ganoderma mushrooms on an area of over 20 square meters, and initial capital of 3 million dong."
His model began to gain ground so he looked into revamping its standards to yield even more with more holistic methods. In 2018, he invested VND50 million for the expansion of mushroom growing, which at that time also meant more challenges he had to face due to his lack of technical grasp and experience.
“I did not feel discouraged by that. I kept on reading from the Internet and books, and tried to find the best method to apply. My mushroom harvest reached higher yields and started to make profits in 2019,” said Hung.
Following up with the stability of abalone, lingzhi and oyster mushroom yield, in early 2020 Mr. Hung embarked on research in growing methods of cordyceps mushrooms. He invested more than VND120 million to build a system of cultivating this sort of mushroom on an area of 9 square meters.
After countless transplant experiment failures, Hung finally harvested 2 kilograms of cordyceps mushrooms in early 2021. They are currently being submitted for product quality analysis samples. He is the first person in Da Nang to successfully grow this precious mushroom.
“Cordyceps mushrooms are priced at 6 million dong per kilogram and not many people can grow them as they require major technology such as an absolutely sterile and bright culture environment, as well as natural ventilation, stable temperature, and huge investment. I have been more than 90% successful,” Hung said.
Hung's mushroom farm has an area of 550 square meters, providing 30 kilograms of daily abalone mushrooms to Da Nang market with the price of VND50,000/kg, while dried Ganoderma is sold for VND800,000 to VND1 million/kg to markets in Thua Thien - Hue, Quang Nam.
“With other expenses deducted, my family earns annually 400 million dong and creates seasonal jobs for four local workers.”
He also expressed that his success today is thanks to the treasure of abundant knowledge from the Internet, which is all ours for the taking. Alongside that is the local government's support in capital.
“For the time being, Hung's farm products are picking up steam. The district has also given more than VND300 million for Hung to develop his models, and invest in equipment to boost efficiency," said Ms. Khanh Ms. Dang Thi Yen Khanh from the Agriculture Division in Hoa Vang district.
Feeling a deep connection to agriculture, a young farmer in 2020 quit his job at a local government agency and began growing asparagus and purple onions and raising rabbits.