Viet Nam: Nguyen Thanh Hien

The motivation behind my success in scientific research is my determination to realize what I set out to do.

— Nguyen Thanh Hien

Dr Nguyen Thanh Hien (born 1940) studied nitrogen fixation biology in the Netherlands and the UK. After lecturing on genetics at Hanoi University for many years, she retired in 2000 to head the Center for Studies and Applications of Microorganism Fertilizers. She obtained a patent for the organic fertilizer BioGro, which helps preserve the environment and enriches the soil. With the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), she introduced microorganism fertilizers in rice and vegetable production in Vietnam and Australia, benefiting millions of farmers.

Nguyen Thanh Hien says that her success is the product of her passion for science and her determination to succeed. She further attributes the success to her personality, ambition, and her desire to serve the community. Her dream is to develop a model of organic farming in Vietnam that will help farmers increase crop yields and incomes and preserve the environment. She has spared no efforts to realize that dream. The micro-organism fertilizer she invented, BioGro, can replace 50 percent of chemical nitrogen fertilizers, help rehabilitate the soil, cut down production costs, and achieve high-yields. Nguyen Than Hien has worked with foreign partners from the Netherlands, Sweden and Australia to introduce microorganism fertilizers in agricultural production. In collaboration with the French NGO Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (Cidse), she built a model for growing organic vegetables in Yen Noi commune in Hanoi city, blazing a trail in non-chemical farming and proving to the world that it is possible to shift from chemical-based to organic farming. Hien set up the Center for Studies and Applications of Microorganism Fertilizers and traveled to every hamlet and village promoting its benefits and encouraging its use. The Center has transfered technology to farmers, and established a network of local agents covering Hanoi, Hai Duong, Ha Tay and Thanh Hoa provinces, and last year, these agents sold over 1000 tons of microorganism fertilizers. The feedback from farmers is that these fertilizers help cut down production costs, give higher crop yields and contribute to the preservation of the environment. Hien said she is confident that she will be able to form an organic farming industry in Vietnam which will improve farmers’ lives and preserve the environment.

Center for Studies and Applications of Microorganism Fertilizers