|Farmers in Sín Thầu Commune, Điện Biện, clear their farm to grow macadamia trees. — VNA/VNS Photo|
ĐIỆN BIÊN — An ethnic minority in Sín Thầu Commune, Mường Nhé District, in the northern mountainous province of Điện Biên has been chosen to plant macadamia trees as part of a local authority pilot programme to escape poverty.
Sín Thầu is a border commune where 96 per cent of the population are the Hà Nhì ethnic group. More than 20 per cent of households are classified as poor.
The local people have been chosen by Mường Nhé District authorities to pilot the planting of 131ha of macadamia trees.
Pờ Chinh Phạ, chairman of Sín Thầu Commune People’s Committee, said local authorities inspected empty land lots that were available to grow trees. Land in the three villages of Tá Miếu, Pờ Nhù Khò, Tả Kho Khừ is qualified to plant macadamia using high technology.
Nguyễn Quang Hưng, secretary of Mường Nhé District's Party Committee, believes the programme will help locals escape from poverty.
In 2019, Điện Biên Province People’s Committee approved a hi-tech macadamia growing project on more than 11,000ha. In spite of procedure-related obstacles linked to land clearance leading to slow progress, the difficulties were addressed.
Hưng said macadamia was suitable for Mường Nhé due to the climate and land condition.
The trees will produce nuts after three years and will have many more nuts afterwards, he said, adding that the economic value of the tree in the long term had the potential to bring huge incomes to local people.
Lỳ Trùy Lòng, a Sín Thầu local, said villagers had been trained how to cultivate macadamia trees.
“Agricultural officers said hi-tech cultivation of macadamia would bring high economic value and benefits. Although I still have a lot of questions over the new plant, I decided to grow it. The Government has assisted VNĐ5 million and given us free seeds to start,” he told Vietnam News Agency.
Secretary of Mường Nhé District's Party Committee Nguyễn Quang Hưng said: “Growing macadamia not only creates jobs and helps with economic development, this is a solution to cover forests with green zones, prevent deforestation for farming and improve local people's lives.”
“Macadamia will definitely become a key plant of Mường Nhé District in the near future.”
Discussing sustainable livelihoods for ethnic minorities in Mường Nhé, Chairman of Điện Biên Province People's Committee Lê Thành Đô said that there had been a lot of State policies investing in this key and strategic area. But Mường Nhé has been among the poorest districts in the country for years.
One of the most significant reasons is that the free migration has disrupted the district's development plan, leading to many consequences, he said.
He said the first and foremost the solution was to stabilise local livelihoods. All of Mường Nhé’s resources have been invested in this effort.
Mường Nhé is now developing. Local authorities are making efforts to improve the livelihoods of ethnic minority groups. One solution is using advantages of the land and promoting forest-based economic models, and establishing concentrated commodity production zones associated with industrial crops having high economic value, he said.
The project planting hi-tech macadamia trees is expected to be a new direction, he said.
It is most important to develop the economy to safeguard sovereignty and stabilise local security and order. Socio-economic development must be in line with national defence and security, he said. — VNS