Around this time of the year, residents of the border town Bù Gia Mập, in the southeast province of Bình Phước are busy harvesting dry rice. Many of the town’s residents are of Stieng origin, an ethnic group with a population of 80,000.
Dry rice, which used to be cultivated on dry land and hilltops, is now grown mixed with cashew and rubber trees in large plantations. The owners of the plantations often open their lands to rice-growers for free.
The practice helps them save weed control expenses while allowing poor farmers to earn extra income, making it a win-win approach.