HA NOI (VNS)— Applying household bookkeeping has taught many farmers in northern and central provinces about financial acumen to improve their businesses and understand how to manage their money.
For the family of 60-year-old farmer Nguyen Viet Chua from Ha Noi's Chuong My District, two years of using the model has taught them not only how to balance daily, monthly and yearly expenses, but also how to invest wisely in what to cultivate or raise.
"It has helped my family increase their income and manage investments," Chua said.
Chua's family is among those who took part in a project to promote book keeping for small farming households in Viet Nam, with the aim of helping them to change traditional habits in business and management.
"In reality, the project has helped to reduce poverty and increase the number of middle-income households," Chua said.
Starting from 40 farming households in Ha Noi's My Duc District in late 2007 as part of a programme run by the Ha Noi University of Agriculture and Oxfam America, the model was expanded to more than 1,000 households across Ha Noi, Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Ha Tinh and Nghe An.
"After only eight months, the project reported back positive results," said the university's Professor Pham Thi My Dung. "It enables small-scale farmers to monitor and analyse financial and investment decisions."
Nguyen Thi My, deputy president of the Farmer's Association in the central province of Ha Tinh's Can Loc District, said more than 300 people in the locality had been trained in the past two years.
"The project has encouraged many practical applications, and farmers have agreed and responded to keeping accounts," she said.
"The project has also helped to empower rural women since they often have to take responsibility for their families' financial records," My said. She added that they were very keen to expand the programme to all farmers, especially the poor. She suggested arranging visits for farmers new to the programme to experienced participants to help them understand the benefits.
Le Nguyet Minh of Oxfam America said farmers involved in the project had reportedly found the model interesting and useful.
"However, reality shows that adjustments are needed to adapt book keeping to different businesses," Minh said. — VNS