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Farming helps northern province develop

Update: August, 06/2005 - 00:00

Farming helps northern province develop

(06-08-2005)

A farmer breeding ducks in Dong Hung District, Thai Binh Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Dung

THAI BINH — Over the past four years, commercial farming on a large scale in the northern province of Thai Binh has expanded rapidly, with 4,000 farms estimated to attain a production value of between VND500 and 600 billion (US$38 million).

"In recent times, the farming economy has played an important role in provincial development and in lowering unemployment," said Vu Duy Huynh, official of the provincial department of agriculture and rural development.

The geographical conditions of Thai Binh make it suitable for a wide range of farming activities. In the districts of Dong Hung and Kien Xuong, farmers raise lean hogs, while aquaculture activities dominate coastal districts of Tien Hai and Thai Thuî. The energetic development of the farming economy, particularly breeding farms, has boosted household incomes, and farmers have seen success in the province exploiting riverside, seaside and previously uncultivated land.

For instance, after six months in business, Pham Ba Vang’s farm in the Tan Binh Commune of Vu Thu District was able to harvest 10 tonnes of cuttlefish, 28 tonnes of catfish, 40 tonnes of chicken meat, nearly 11,000 eggs and 30,000 breeding chickens, with a value of more than VND1 billion.

Vang’s farm has brought jobs to about 40 workers with an average wage of VND800,000 per month, and Vang has ideas to expand the farm and build ponds to raise fish, expand his chicken production, and plant fruit orchards.

Nguyen Trung Kien, a farm owner in Tay Giang commune, said, "I built a large farm on 5ha of uncultivated land. The farm now produces thousands of fruit and more than 1,200 pigs, and has 10 ponds."

Kien revealed that each year the farm grossed VND2 billion, earning a profit of more than 400 million. The farm generated 20-30 jobs with monthly wages of VND650,000-950,000.

In addition to raising pigs, Hoang Lien’s farm is also a representative of a large agricultural wholesale company that supports local farms with technology and then buys their produce from them, ensuring the farmers a market. In the past four years, he has helped 30 additional households in his area build farms.

In the near future, he aims to expand his farm to raise 300 breed pigs and 10,000 laying hens, as well as plant fruit trees, hoping to employ an additional 40 laborers.

The development of the provincial farming economy has created concentrated regions producing specialised agricultural or forestry products and widened the service sector in this rural area.

Tran Nguyen Nghiem, chairman of Vu Tien Commune’s People’s Committee said, "Our commune has 1,097 households producing agricultural products, 22 feedlots and 35 agricultural wholesale companies."

Nghiem pointed out that development of the farm economy had solved unemployment and improved the living standard of the area.

Development of agriculture in the province has nevertheless met some difficulties. Development has been uncontrolled. Land use certificates have been issued slowly to farms so that the farmers have not felt confident in further investing in expanding their farms.

Management knowledge of farmers is limited, and farmers have not applied technology to production. Almost all of the farms have lacked sufficient capital to finance expansion. — VNS