KHANH HOA — After investing in fish farming and using techniques he learned from a vocational training course, Trieu Duc Phan earned profits of more than VND100 million (US$5,000) last year.
The course was organised by local authorities in Khanh Trung village in central Khanh Hoa Province.
"This means I can afford to send my children to school now," said Phan, who is a member of the Raglai ethnic community.
Previously, Phan had been unable to grow any crop on his barren land.
"I learned many useful things during my classes, which helped me a lot in my business."
He now raises many kinds of freshwater fish, including carp, anabas and chub, in tanks and ponds on his land.
"We farmers are in good health and are hard working," he said. "If we know farming techniques and invest wisely, it's not difficult for us to succeed."
Phan was one of more than 200 farmers in Khanh Trung village who attended free vocational training courses begun last year by Khanh Hoa Province's Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Department.
Huynh Ngoc My, a farmer in Van Ninh District's Van Phu Village, attended a course in which techniques to grow bao ngu (Pleurotus) mushrooms were taught. The course attracted 35 farmers.
"We would still be poor if we only lived on rice farming, " My said. "We need to do more jobs to supplement our income."
Another farmer, Do Van Cuoc in Dai Lanh village learned how to raise frogs from the techniques that he learned in a course organised by Van Ninh District's Job Training Centre. He now raises 3,000 frogs.
Cuoc invested VND15 million ($750) to buy frog breeds which are raised in a 30-sq.m tank in his yard.
"The frogs grew quickly, each weighing 300 grammes in three months," Cuoc said.
Frog meat is nutritious and is much sought after in Khanh Hoa market.
More than 20 households in Dai Lanh have built tanks to raise frogs.
Training programmes focusing on non-agricultural jobs organised in Khanh Hoa have also attracted a large number of rural workers.
More than 30 farmers in Khanh Vinh District's Cau BaVillage are learning carpentry at a three-month course opened by Khanh Hoa-based Tram Huong Forestry Processing Company and the local Job Training Centre.
"After the course, we'll be provided jobs right in our village," said Cao Thi Nang, a farmer in Cau Ba village.
According to figures from the Khanh Hoa People's Committee, 82 per cent of rural workers received jobs suited to their skills, after receiving vocational training in their localities.
"With training, rural workers can start their own businesses. They can also apply for skilled jobs, not just manual work, at factories or production units," said Nguyen Lac, president of the Khanh Hoa Farmers Association. — VNS