Social challenge:

  • The problem: Currently, Vietnamese people consume a significant amount of salt, nearly double the World Health Organization’s recommendation of less than 5g/day, with about 90% of the population consuming excess salt (VNCDC, WHO, 2018), increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Additionally, the Covid pandemic has caused many difficulties for salt-producing households in accessing markets. The surplus salt being sold in the market at extremely low prices ranging from 500 to 1,000 VND/kg has made the traditional salt-making villages in the homeland increasingly gradually disappear.
  • Problem’s placement: Vietnam, particularly the traditional salt-making villages of Vietnam.
  • People affected by the problem: The people of Vietnam, especially salt-making farmers, notably female salt farmers.
  • Urgency and Severity of the problem: In Vietnam, excessive salt consumption is a significant contributing factor to the increasing prevalence of high blood pressure and deaths due to cardiovascular diseases (VNCDC). According to statistics from the VNCDC, currently in Vietnam, for every 5 adults, 1 person has high blood pressure, and for every 3 cases of death, 1 case is due to cardiovascular diseases. WHO has recommended that Vietnam strengthen communication campaigns to promote salt reduction. However, changing people’s habits is not easy, leading to a demand for salt that provides higher nutritional value and limits excess substances.

However, salt production in Vietnam still follows small-scale, traditional manual methods, lacking complete machinery and technology to produce high-value products from natural sea minerals. The salt industry in Vietnam is considered to have development potential due to its long coastline (3,240 km) and abundant salt production area of ​​11,393 hectares (according to statistics in 2021 from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development). However, Vietnam still has to import 400 – 600,000 tons of salt from abroad annually. This situation has led to low incomes for salt-producing farmers, who face competition from imported goods and experience difficult living conditions.

Social idea: Nanosalt aims to address the challenges facing the salt industry in general, particularly the traditional salt villages in Quynh Luu (one of the best-known salt-producing areas in Vietnam but gradually forgotten). The NanoSalt project utilizes proprietary technology to develop high-quality nutritional products from the traditional sun-dried salt of Quynh Luu, and the NanoSalt product ecosystem will be divided into 4 main segments: Food salt, medicinal salt – beauty care, medical salt, and spiritual salt. We develop products based on the principle of “Convenience – Utility” with the hope that 94.6 million Vietnamese people will use low-sodium nutritional salt containing less than 50% sodium and providing more than 60 essential minerals for the body, supporting universal healthcare through specialized medicinal salt lines. Nanosalt also aims to create more livelihoods locally. NanoSalt has created over 1,000 new jobs, contributing to a 50% increase in income for the salt-producing families in Quynh Luu, preserving and maintaining 12 salt cooperatives in Quynh Luu. Currently, 80% of the salt-making profession is undertaken by women, so the project primarily impacts the economic development of women engaged in salt production locally. The NanoSalt project aims to address 8 out of 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations, including:

  • Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
  • Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
  • Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
  • Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development