THUA THIEN - HUE (VNS) — The practical application of "green" knowledge has slashed the use of chemical fertilisers by half by farmers in central Thua Thien-Hue Province.
According to Hoang Van Hien, chairman of Hien Luong agricultural co-operative, biofertilisers made from farm waste is replacing industrial products in rice paddies, peanut and vegetable farms.
"Biofertilisers are a good way to kill two birds with one stone - reducing the use of chemicals in cultivation while dealing with agricultural waste as well," he said.
The co-operative, which is based in the province's Phong Hien Commune in Phong Dien District, covers 132ha of land, including 90ha of rice.
Hien said the co-operative had 350 farmers, 30 cows, 10 buffaloes and 10 pig farms. This meant there was plenty of waste to produce biofertilisers.
Hay, rice husks and other farming waste are fermented and mixed with dung to produce the green fertilisers. Similar organic fertilisers can be found in the market place, but they are up to 75 per cent dearer compared to home made fertil-isers.
"Effective and economic," he said about the green fertiliser. "It enriches the soil much better than chemical products."
Lam Thi Thu Suu, director of the Hue based Centre for Social Research and Development, said the waste fertiliser model had been adopted on vegetable farms in other localities, including Huong Chu, Quang Tho, and Quang Thanh communes.
"We also integrate climate-change education with the production of fertiliser," she said.
The centre is also involving rural residents in production of biogas for cooking and heating in commune in Hung Phu, Thuong Nhat and Thuong Loc in the province's Nam Dong District.
Huynh Thanh, deputy chairman of Hung Phu Commune, said the locality had 10 tanks for biogas production and four more were planned.
Waste from farms forestry is also collected and fermented. "No more waste has been dumped in public places since the tanks were installed," Thanh said.
Suu said the models for biofertilisers and biogas had worked well and she expected more financial support from Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency, which helped pay expenses. — VNS