Advanced vertical farming for climate, lives and landscapes

Testing and expanding vertical farm technology in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam



As part of a partnership between The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Orlar, and Raise Partners Vietnam, SNV will provide technical assistance to Orlar to scale an innovative vertical farming technology to increase sustainable food production and free up agriculture land for rehabilitation in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

Funded by DFAT through the Business Partnerships Platform (BPP), run from 2021 to 2023, the partnership will test and expand existing vertical farm technology to demonstrate the climate and economic value of vertical farms in the Mekong Delta, an area vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

The BPP is a flagship program of DFAT that supports the collaboration between DFAT and businesses to address development challenges. With BPP’s support, Orlar will transfer its modern greenhouse production technologies to grow tomatoes, greens, and other high-value crops in degraded areas in the Mekong Delta where conventional production is not viable. With the new production site, Orlar will restore biodiversity, protect the environment as well as enhance the income and capacity of vulnerable people, with afocus on women, and farmers living in poverty.

SNV and Orlar started the partnership in Lam Dong province through the project funded by The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) Origination Facility. SNV’s overall Technical Assistance (TA) to Orlar in the DFCD origination facility aims to support Orlar’s approach of a more profitable, efficient high-tech model while promoting the impact of “eco-reputation and eco-innovation” orientation strategies on sustainable supply chain initiatives. It would also support Orlar in developing new opportunities for improving their economic development in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

SNV's technical assistance in the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta of Vietnam is a region exposed to frequent and severe droughts, saline intrusion, and floods. In response, the Government of Vietnam developed Resolution 120 proposing urgent actions for the Sustainable and Climate Resilient Development of the Mekong Delta. The transformation of the agricultural sector to adapt to the changing environmental conditions is a major priority of the resolution, and the private sector has a critical role to play in introducing and scaling innovative technologies. Orlar’s vertical farming technology offers an advanced solution, particularly in estuarine and near-coastal areas where due to rapidly rising salinity levels, agricultural production needs to shift from rice production to other and higher-value crops.

While Orlar has already developed and is improving hi-tech systems to monitor many environmental aspects of production, SNV’s TA in this project is desired to help the company successfully transfer and expand its business and production models to the Mekong Delta. This TA includes three inter-linked packages:

  • Environmental and Social Assessments: To assess potential environmental and social benefits and risks, and support Orlar’s Environmental, Social, and Governance dashboard. The assessments will include local stakeholder engagement and participatory consultation on Orlar’s business model and any site-related issues.

  • Inclusive and Sustainable Supply-Chain Assessment: The intensive experience of SNV will support Orlar to  effectively develop in its inclusive supply chain, ensure food safety along the chains, while addressing both economic and environmental efficiencies (e.g. reducing packaging, recycling organic waste back on the farms) as well as generating new and inclusive business opportunities.

  • Community development and facilitating local ownership: This element of the TA aims to facilitate local ownership and community development to enhance the capacity of local people, especially women workers, increase their income and professionalise agriculture production and business.

Our donors and partners

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Business Partnerships Platform logo
Orlar logo
Raise logo