KIEN GIANG — Danh Ven of Thanh Binh Hamlet in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kien Giang still remembers the days when the villagers were able to grow just one crop a year.
"Life was very difficult," he says. But that is just a memory now.
The hamlet's residents, 97 per cent of whom belong to the Khmer ethnic minority, have transformed their lives by taking full advantage of various measures taken by the Government to support them.
One of the earliest measures was a freshwater canal named after Uncle Ho.
Local authority gathered people and had a 3km canal dug to take water from the Tac Rang River to the hamlet. Since the residents have been able to plant and harvest two crops a year and increased their yield to 8 tonnes per ha.
Residents also adopted inter-cropping, combining their farming with animal husbandry and fish breeding.
Besides, poor households were supported to build houses under the Government's Programme 134 which aims to provide minority people with housing, land for housing and production, and safe water.
Danh Thuan, deputy chairman of Thanh Loc Commune in which the hamlet is located, said the lives of Khmer people have improved a lot compared to 4-5 years ago.
Danh Den, leader of the hamlet, agreed. He said, "Though people do not live in complete comfort, their lives have improved considerably, the poverty rate has dropped and all school-age children attend school."
Many households now have television and other recreational facilities, motorbikes and other items that indicate a higher standard of living. — VNS