From a start-up with two cows, and after several serious economic losses, Đặng Ngọc Phong, from a poor farming family in the Mekong delta province of Đồng Tháp, now owns a large cow farming business. — Photo thoibao.today
ĐỒNG THÁP — From a start-up with two cows, and after several serious economic losses, Đặng Ngọc Phong, from a poor farming family in the Mekong delta province of Đồng Tháp, now owns a large cow farming business.
The 35-year-old owner said he inherited his parents’ love of labour and hard work. During his childhood, the family’s economy was miserable as it was based mostly on small-sized farming and pig breeding with poor technology in Tân Phú Đông Commune, Sa Đéc City.
When he grew up, Phong had a dream to develop a business to fully look after his parents. Taking guidance from a friend, he borrowed money from his parents to buy two traditionally breed Vietnamese cows, but the venture failed. He then went on to buy six cows of different breeds from an An Giang neighbour’s farm.
He recognised that the cows were growing slowly due to a lack of natural forage. He decided to grow grass on his family-owned 2,500sq.m of farmland, aiming to ensure a supply of cattle feed throughout the year.
“It really is a process of difficulties and hardships. Sometimes I fail and totally collapse.“ Phong said. “However, I continue standing up for my family and because of my passion for cattle breeding.”
Phong learned about the technology from books, newspapers, a local agriculture department-organised training course, and especially through trial and error himself.
In 2011, Phong developed his own farm by breeding new cows from Vĩnh Long Province’s Ba Tri District and HCM City’s Củ Chi District.
He said the beef from two cow breeds was of high-quality and had less diseases, so met the demands of domestic consumption. And he also provided young cows to local farms at a cost of VNĐ15-20 million (US$650-900) each, all of which has brought a good stable income for Phong over the last five years.
Success and know-how
In 2015, Phong was awarded an excellent farmer certificate by the Đồng Tháp Province’s Youth Union.
At present, Phong’s farm has a 70sq.m ox breeding area with 20 different-breed cows. Good technology, a source of feed, and disease prevention measures, he said, were supporting the cow herd to grow well. A fully grown cow can expect to weigh 1-1.3 tonnes.
He said the farm used to have 80 cows during the rush period in late 2015.
High quality cattle feed, good hygiene in the cow house and know-how is the source of Phong’s business success.
Grass, fodder, maize and bran are used as cattle feed throughout the year. A drainage system was built separately to remove animal waste, requiring much investment.
He also actively utilised the feed from his 9,000sq.m of grass growing area.
Phong joined in Tân Phú Đông Commune’s cow breeding co-operative in 2013 in order to have a professional business environment, share experiences and create more jobs for local labourers.
All of Phong’s 10 employees are local young people who are qualified for grassing, cattle feed processing, feeding and taking care of the cow herd.
Lương Ngọc Nam, deputy secretary of the local Youth Union praised the cow breeder, saying Phong was a successful example of a job start-up in the province.
Besides his individual business, Phong also participates in supporting other social activities, Nam said. — VNS