Farmers in Trà Vinh’s Cầu Ngang District harvest peanuts. Peanut is one of the crops that have helped poor people escape poverty in the province. – VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hòa
TRÀ VINH – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh plans to reduce the poverty and near-poverty rates by 1.5 percentage points each this year.
They are equivalent to 4,000 poor households and 4,137 near-poor households.
Nguyễn Văn Út, director of the province’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said of the poor households, 2,683 are ethnic Khmer.
The Khmer make up 31 per cent of the province’s population.
To meet the poverty reduction targets, the department and other relevant departments and agencies are providing vocational training for the poor and near poor.
Other measures include providing them with soft loans for agriculture and doing business, free houses and infrastructure like water supply facilities.
The province People’s Committee will provide housing land worth VNĐ23 billion (US$990,000) to 700 poor households this year.
Trần Trí Dũng, secretary of the province Party Committee, has called on local authorities to review the reasons for each household’s poverty and take measures to support them.
In recent years the province has taken many measures, including providing soft loans to the poor and near-poor, to reduce its poverty rate.
Kim Thị Nga, an ethnic Khmer living in Cầu Ngang District’s Thuận Hòa Commune, was provided soft loans for agriculture for five years and managed to escape poverty.
She used the loans to raise cows for producing calves and grow red chillies.
She earns a profit of VNĐ40 million ($1,720) from each chilli crop, she said.
She was also provided with a soft loan for building a house.
“If I had not been provided soft loans for doing agriculture, my family will still live in a dilapidated thatched house,” she said.
The province has implemented 24 production projects to help more than 500 poor and near-poor households and those that had just escaped poverty carry on production activities, diversify livelihoods and expand poverty reduction models.
Many farmers have escaped poverty by growing corn or peanut and breeding cows, goats and aquatic species.
Last year the Fatherland Front Committee at all levels mobilised more than VNĐ53 billion ($2.3 million) for the Fund for the Poor.
With money from the fund, the province built or repaired 629 houses and gave gifts to thousands of poor households for Tết (Lunar New Year) and other public holidays last year.
The Fatherland Front Committee hopes to raise VNĐ40 billion ($1.72 million) this year.
The money will be used for building and repairing houses and building standard toilets for the poor.
The number of poor households in the province had fallen from 35,506 in 2016 to 16,414 at the end of last year, accounting for nearly 6 per cent of the province’s total.
It also had more than 23,000 near-poor households. – VNS