Dr. Nguyen Thanh My invested in high-tech agriculture at the age of 60, when he had just retired and realized still too young to ‘live idle’.
On the occasion of the Lunar New Year of Tiger 2022, Dr. Nguyen Thanh My – who chosed to start a high-tech agricultural business when he was at 60s – speaks with the Vietnam Agriculture Newspaper about his career.
According to the Chairman of Mylan Group, he has been interested in high-tech agricultural investment in Vietnam since 2004 focusing on export markets.
“By the end of 2015, I retired at the age of 60 and after a few weeks, I realized that I was too young to live idle,” revealed Dr. Nguyen Thanh My saying he decided to start a business again in 2016, focusing on the agricultural sector.
At that time, there were many food products in the market that were dirty, unsafe, and with the use of many harmful chemicals during the production process.
Therefore, when investing in agriculture, he aimed to apply 4.0 technology into the fields, and the ponds. First was to help Vietnamese people get cleaner and safer food, then reach out to the international markets.
The Mekong Delta, his homeland provides nearly 80% of food for the country and for exports, but it is a ‘low-lying’ area in terms of applying science and technology to agricultural production.
From this fact, Dr. My not only wishes to put technology into production, but also hopes to train a young generation capable of mastering, inventing, manufacturing and applying technology in agriculture.
The head of Mylan Group recalled in 2016, the agricultural industry had a lot of potential, but faced major difficulty of land policy, especially for overseas Vietnamese like him.
“Although I am Chairman of the Overseas Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Association, it is hard to call overseas Vietnamese to invest in domestic agriculture,” said Dr. My, adding that his friends also said: “only a few overseas ‘crazy people’ come back to Vietnam to work in agriculture.”
To overcome these difficulties, overseas Vietnamese who have been successful abroad like Mr. My have turned their love of their home country into an initial motivation to return to invest in Vietnam. “But investing in agriculture needs to be more motivated or more patriotic,” said Dr. My.
When investing in agriculture in the country, farmers are the partners with whom he works most and earliest, but Mr. My still believes that with smart and creative characteristics of the Vietnamese people, he can help apply technology and promote domestic intelligence to void too much dependence on imported technologies.
After 15 years of investments and achieving certain successes, My still worries about problems including a lack of synchronization in policies to attract more overseas Vietnamese to return to invest in home country.
“In my opinion, land policies should be considered to allow overseas Vietnamese to buy land, especially those of agriculture,” Mr. My suggested, adding that there should be synchronizated policies, particularly in localities.
Speaking about the future, the chairman of Mylan Group said he always wants to expand business scale, apply more, and better master technology in agricultural production.
“We have always dreamed of promoting Vietnamese intellectual to create ‘Made in Vietnam’ products with full of proud,” said Dr. My.
He also expressed his wish to train millions of high-tech agricultural engineers for Vietnam, especially in the Mekong Delta where is still considered a low-tech area.