Sandy soil veggies lift farmers out of poverty

March 21, 2017 - 09:00

Growing vegetables on sandy fields is helping farmers out of poverty in a coastal commune in Thừa Thiên- Huế Province.

A farmer tends to her vegetables on a sandy land plot in Điền Lộc Commune, Thừa-Thiên Huế Province. VNS Photo Huê Phong
Viet Nam News

Huê Phong

THỪA THIÊN- HUẾ — Growing vegetables on sandy fields is helping farmers out of poverty in a coastal commune in Thừa Thiên- Huế Province.

Farmers in Điền Lộc Commune are reaping success from the new effort, something older generations have not been able to do.

Lê Huy, a local farmer, said he is growing vegetables on a 0.5ha sandy land plot and earning an average annual income of VNĐ150 million (US$6,600). “This has helped farmers here a lot in improving their income. We are no longer poor,” he said.

Huy said he learnt this cultivation model from a local man, Hồ Hợi.

Hợi, whose family had struggled in poverty for many years, initiated the new venture in 2013 by making sandy embankments around his land and digging tiny canals inside the land plot to hold water for his vegetables.

The embankment helps to hold water inside and prevents hot sand from flying around and damaging the vegetables.

Điền Lộc Commune has a total area of and more than 80 per cent of its area is sandy.

After Hợi piloted the cultivation model and earned VNĐ100 million in the first year growing lettuce, celery, green mustard and garland chrysanthemum, he expanded his garden.

Today, his family grows vegetables on a one-hectare sandy land plot for an annual income of VNĐ300 million.

Other farmers in the commune have copied Hợi’s model and succeeded.

“I can’t imagine that I can afford enough for the whole family. My neighbours and I lived in poverty until Hợi sparked this,” said Lê Khuyên, another farmer.

Commune Chairman Lê Văn Thắng said a total of 400 farmers are now applying this model on 50ha.

Thắng said locally produced vegetables have been bought and consumed in the neighbouring provinces of Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị. “The model has lifted up the local economy and we have a plan to expand the area to 60ha.”

Điền Lộc is among the five communes with highest percentage of sandy soil in the district. The Phong Điền District People’s Committee is planning to apply the model in other communes of Điền Hương, Điền Hòa, Điền Hải and Điền Môn.

District Deputy Chairman Nguyễn Văn Bình said his administration has prepared a plan to supply farmers with electricity lines and pumps in order to improve irrigation and make the model even more effective.

“Farmers will be equipped with knowledge of Việt Nam’s GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) standards to produce better quality vegetables, meeting demands of a wider market,” he said. — VNS