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Aug 22, 2023 / 10:31

Hanoi’s suburban farmers earn money through digital platforms

In the era of Industry 4.0, Hanoi's farmers are capitalizing on social networks to promote their agricultural produce.

Fifteen years after being incorporated into Hanoi, the rural area of Me Linh District has undergone rapid changes in terms of economy, science and technology, and social life.

For better sales, local farmers are adapting to advanced technologies to improve the quality and yield of their crops and promote their produce on digital platforms.

Promotes household farm produce 

Hanoi farmer Le Van Ca teaches himself video shooting and editing to promote roses in Me Linh District. Photo: Hoa Hong Me Linh

Few Hanoians who shop at Tay Tuu Flower Village and Quang Ba Flower Market know that the enchanting exotic roses come from Me Linh Flower Village.

Young farmer Le Van Ca from Me Linh District returned home to prosper on his family's farm despite having studied information technology. Hoping to promote local rose farming and teach people basic rose care techniques, the farmer and some friends created the Hoa Hong Me Linh fan page on Facebook to share their personal photos and videos.

The video production team consists of two members with a simple camera. But their clips promoting local rose cultivation have been viewed millions of times on the social network.

Social networking has made Le Van Ca a "celebrity" among the local community of rose lovers. He not only introduces and sells dozens of different varieties of the flower on social networks, but also teaches others how to grow and care for roses.

"I have been following the video clips and posts of Le Van Ca's team for two years to learn the techniques of rose care and gardening," said Thu Huong from Ba Dinh District. "His videos are always eye-catching and very useful for novice rose growers like me."

Creating catchy content

A beautiful rose bonsai planted by Hanoi's farmer Le Van Ca. Photo: Hoa Hong Me Linh

Launched about three years ago in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, their channel has so far garnered over 246,000 followers, more than two million likes, and millions of views. The audience is really fond of the simple, rustic and especially funny content created by the floriculturists.

Through each livestream shopping, the Hoa Hong Me Linh or Me Linh Rose channels on social platforms can close a few hundred to a thousand deals, bringing in tens to hundreds of millions of dongs. Accordingly, Ca's annual revenue reaches billions.

He shared that" "My initial goal was just to make videos to teach people how to grow and take care of roses. But when many people knew about Me Linh roses and my channel, I thought about selling plants on these social platforms."

Ca has turned down many advertising offers as he always wants people to know him as a farmer, instead of making money from gossip or scandal on social networks.

There are hundreds of varieties of roses in the young farmer's garden, including this blue one. Photo: Hoa Hong Me Linh

With his sense of humor and bucolic charm, his videos are always very successful, and customers who buy his plants are mainly those who have seen the clips. As a result, the sales of his flower gardens on Tet holiday are 2-3 times higher than in previous years.

One day, Tran Nhu Quynh from Duy Tien District, Ha Nam Province, and her husband traveled to Me Linh at 6 a.m. to meet Ca for advice. Quynh said: "I watch Ca's videos all the time. They are short, simple, but very fascinating. Not only on social networks, but also in person, Ca enthusiastically gives humorous advice."

Investing most of time in gardening

The young farmers did not wait passively for merchants to come to them, as was the traditional way. Today, Le Van Ca has built a team of about a dozen people to run his online sales channel.

Since being promoted on social networking platforms, Me Linh roses have become known to a wider range of people. At weekends, Ca's flower garden is always crowded.

These works of art are made from roses planted in Le Van Ca's garden.Photo: Hoa Hong Me Linh 

After setting up dozens of customer groups to provide advice and answer any questions about flower varieties and care, Ca said: "Since I became known to many people through social media, I couldn't take care of the flowers, support customers and create content on social networks at the same time because all these tasks are time-consuming. I had to hire more people to make it easier to manage and take care of customers.

Nguyen Manh Chinh from Me Linh District, who has been with Ca since the beginning of her career, said: "The content we shared on social networks became popular, and the high income is my motivation to continue producing good videos."

However, Ca and his team could only spend one or two hours a day on the clips. "My main job is still planting flowers, not creating content for social media. There is no script prepared in advance, we just film as we go and use the breaks to edit," Chinh added.

While seeking more domestic customers, the young floriculturist also intends to bring unique rose bonsai to the international market.

Part of Me Linh Rose Garden.

In addition to creating content on social networks to find markets, Ca and his friends spend time researching grafting and maintenance techniques. As the flower garden expands, he has hired experienced locals to take care of the plants.

He also regularly travels to other places to learn and share flower-growing techniques. "To save time and reduce costs, I even had to research and design my own irrigation and pesticide spraying systems," Ca said.

In the era of Industry 4.0, Vietnamese farmers who are getting rich in their hometowns demonstrate their creativity and sensitivity to market movements, making important contributions to agricultural and rural economic development.