Sugarcane is a main crop and a breadwinner for people in Tay Ninh province, especially after the Bourbon - Tay Ninh Sugar Mill came into operation in 1995. Integration has opened up many opportunities but also posed numerous challenges that demand the sugar industry of Tay Ninh province to have consistent radical solutions to improve added value and sustainable development to bring prosperity to farmers and businesses in the province.
With soil and climate suitable for growing sugarcane, Tay Ninh quickly rose to become the “capital of sugar” of the country, rated by the Central Government as one of three important sugarcane growers of the country beside Thanh Hoa and Quang Ngai provinces. Sugarcane started with the mission of ending poverty for tens of thousands of farming households in Tay Ninh. Not just doing this mission well, many sugarcane growing households also endeavored for better livelihoods. Tay Ninh was very successful in industrializing the sugarcane processing industry, aligning production with consumption, developing large, high-yield sugarcane areas.
Compared with other crops in Tay Ninh, sugarcane is better grown, especially in terms of biology and industry. Biologically, sugarcane is highly adaptable to different soil and climatic conditions. With a yield of more than 100 tons per hectare, sugarcane is considered by many experts to be one of major crops that generate biomass - the top economic value and the future crop of modern agriculture. In particular, sugarcane has proven suitable in Tay Ninh as it grows better and its yield is 10% higher than the national median.
Industrially, sugarcane is a multipurpose tree, with economic values taken from the top to the root of the plant. The trunk is the input for sugar, wine, paper, plywood, pharmaceutical, and electricity production. Cane tops and leaves can be used as manure. Molasses is used as the input for biofuel, alcohol, acetone, butanol, yeast, citric acid, lactic, aconitic and glycerin production. With outstanding economic value, if fully exploited, the sugar value chain will be extended and multiplied. Especially, if there is an effective production strategy, sugarcane cultivation can develop sustainably, bringing high economic value, not only from sugar itself but also from products besides sugar, after sugar and other by-products.
Effective business - farmer cooperation strategy
Farmers typically faced a paradox: Getting higher selling prices in unsuccessful seasons and getting lower prices in successful seasons. Many chose to abandon existing crops and opted for new crops believed to generate a higher commercial value. Pricing was a decisive factor in the shrinkage or expansion of cultivated areas.
Not outside the market law, this case also happened to sugarcane and sugar. Nevertheless, despite volatility, sugarcane is always a key crop of Tay Ninh province. This approach requires sugarcane growers to have confidence and firm stance and make a good investment in capital, seeds and technology to tap sugarcane’s full potential.
Thanh Thanh Cong - Bien Hoa Joint Stock Company (ticker symbol: SBT) - a leading sugar producer in Vietnam with 46% market share, is a component stock of the VN30 bluechip basket. TTC Sugar constantly expands its retail network, with its products present in more than 70,300 outlet shops, 5,200 supermarkets and convenience stores, more than 3,500 points of sale and four well-known partners on the e-commerce exchange of Vietnam. In addition, TTC Sugar also boosted its exports and successfully brought the TTC Sugar brand to consumers in 24 countries, including fastidious markets such as the United States, Europe, South Korea and Singapore.
With a material area of 64,000 ha spanning three Indochinese countries (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), expected to be scaled up to 70,000 ha in the near future and nine sugar mills with a total capacity of more than 37,500 tons of sugarcane a day, equivalent to 4,250 tons of sugar a day, powered by its cutting edge technology, production capacity and quality human resources, TTC Sugar brand is always friendly to customers, farmers, domestic and foreign partners.
The issue is how farmers gain the competence and money to invest in technology, expand production, implement mechanization, gradually improve productivity and product quality. Solving this problem requires close coordination and mutual support for development between farmers and sugar businesses.
By lifting farmers’ role in the production chain, Thanh Thanh Cong - Bien Hoa Joint Stock Company (stock symbol: SBT) has carried out many projects to support farmers to build large-scale sugarcane fields; create a foundation for expanding production and improving productivity and quality of sugarcane. At the same time, SBT has also transferred all-new farming techniques, provided machines and equipment for farmers to invest in production, thus helping farmers increase their incomes.
Regarding mechanization, SBT is the exclusive distributor of John Deere agricultural equipment in the domestic market. By applying mechanization, properly spaced planting has enabled machines to work on the field to reduce harvesting cost, increase profitability for farmers and bring canes to factories for processing. To help farmers access capital sources to invest in production and apply new cultivation processes, SBT has offered many preferential loans and appropriate disbursement terms, based on cane growth stages for growers to make payment for cost.
Given market volatility, SBT has utilized its advantages of market leadership and steady, persistent steps to support farmers in hi-tech agriculture development. This also shows that strategic cooperation between the company and farmers is one effective solution for the sustainable development of the sugar industry of Tay Ninh province and of Vietnam as a whole, and brings sugarcane on par with other domestic agricultural products and to the international arena.
TTC Sugar - Sole distributor of John Deere agricultural equipment in Vietnam
After many years of being a strategic partner, TTC Sugar is currently an exclusive distributor of John Deere tractors and agricultural machinery - a leading American brand of agricultural machinery and equipment - in Vietnam.
This lineup of high-quality machinery, operated effectively on all terrains thanks to its superior and outstanding features, helps increase productivity and save fuel. In addition, John Deere owns a wide ranging world-class portfolio of motorized equipment with reasonable prices and genuine spare parts to best serve customers’ needs.
Cong Luan (Vietnam Business Forum)