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Integrated farming a hit with room to grow

Update: September, 17/2016 - 09:00
A farmer in Tân Tấu Village collects oranges in the northern mountain province of Hà Giang’s Bắc Quang District. The farming system makes up between 50 – 60 per cent of local households’ annual income. - VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Chung-TTXVN.
Viet Nam News

Tố Như

HÀ NỘI –Trịnh Quốc Huy and his family own a five-hectare farm with various fruit plants of great renown across the country and local varieties.

The farm, located in Việt Lâm Town, the northern mountainous Hà Giang Province’s Vị Xuyên District, has been developed following the garden-pond-livestock pen (VAC) model and earns Huy billions of đồng annually.

Besides local varieties of plants and animals, the garden is home to bưởi da xanh (green skin grapefruit), bưởi Diễn (a type of pomelo), cam Canh (sweet orange), among others. Husbandry alone brings Huy some VNĐ2 billion ($89,000) each year.

Huy is ready to share farming knowledge and provide quality young plants and livestock breeds for local farmers.

The VAC model has also generated regular jobs for local labourers, earning them a monthly income of some VNĐ4million (US$180).

“I had travelled here and there, at home and abroad, seeking to start a business. After days of ups and downs, I realised that farmers could get rich mostly from agricultural production. My wife and I dreamed of building our farm on our homeland,” said Huy.

“We developed a large self-contained farm for fruit trees and animals. We returned from Russia in 2008. After almost 10 years, we believe we are on the right track,” he said.

"The integrated farming system, a Vietnamese approach to household production of clean nutritious food, is worth being considered a typical example of economic development based on local advantages," said the Vietnam Gardening Association’s Chairman, Prof. Ngô Thế Dân.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), developing the farming economy is increasingly important.

Dân said reports from provincial Gardening Associations showed that about 50 per cent of uncultivated gardens and ponds in each locality had been restored in accordance with the VAT model.

The farming system makes up between 50 – 60 per cent of local households’ annual income, reports from Thanh Hóa and Hà Tĩnh provinces’ Gardening Associations show.

The family of Nguyễn Thanh Tuấn in the central Quảng Nam Province’s Núi Thành District turns over VNĐ5 billion annually from the integrated farming system, creating jobs for five locals.

In the five-hectare farm, Tuấn raises various animals including chicken, ducks, pigs, salamanders and fish, and 500 fruit trees.

In the southern provinces of Bến Tre, Tiền Giang and Vĩnh Long, local gardening associations developed farming areas specialising in fruit trees in line with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), which makes between VNĐ600-700 million per hectare.

Head of the Economic Co-operation Division, MARD’s Department for Economic Development and Rural Development, Trần Đình Dũng said the gardening economy had grown vigorously and developed in many ways, including one which combines garden, pond, livestock and forest.

“The farming system has made a good earning for households, showing its essential role in the agricultural sector,” Dũng said.

However, Dũng admitted, the full potential of the model has not been brought into play.

Dũng called for proper policies to develop the system, as there was a lack of linkage between production and sales.

“Investment capital size remains limited and processing technologies are not highly developed. Product quality has yet to meet market demand and farmers can’t develop strong and competitive brands,” he said.

Acting Director of the National Farming Promotion Centre, Trần Văn Khởi said due to its vital role in the agricultural economy, the State should introduce policies facilitating farming households, especially in the application of advanced science and technology.

Prof. Ngô Thế Dân, also former deputy MARD minister, said those involved in the sector need to equip themselves with information and technology, know how to promote their produce on the internet, look for markets, and organise ecological tourism models on their farms. — VNS



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