Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Using out-of-date bread and sandwiches from supermarkets in HCM City, farmer Vũ Thị Hậu has found a clean source of food for her fish, and earns profits of more than VNĐ500 million (US$21,700) per year.
She said that the bread and sandwiches she finds are only passed their sell-by date by a few days, so they were still fine to use as fish food.
“I never choose mouldy ones because the fish can develop diseases,” said Hậu.
Hậu, 53, was born in the northern province of Bắc Ninh. She moved to the south to set up her business nearly 20 years ago.
At that time Hậu, her husband, as well as her children, stopped in Đồng Nai Province. She used her savings to buy a small piece of land and build a house.
Hậu and her husband worked so that their children could go to school. She believed that an education was the only way to escape poverty.
After several years in Đồng Nai Province, the couple decided to move to HCM City to improve the quality of life for their children.
With VNĐ80 million ($3,400) from selling her house in Đồng Nai Province, she rented a house and some land in District 9 to do agricultural work.
“The money left after renting the house and land was enough for me to buy a pig. Although I knew a lot of difficulties were waiting for us, my husband and I are always optimistic because we think that if we are hard-working, luck will follow,” said Hậu.
Thanks to their hard work, her pig quickly gave birth to more. By 2010, Hậu had more than one hundred pigs. She bought nearly 1.2ha of land.
In 2011, Hậu borrowed capital with preferential interest as part of a programme launched by the HCM City People’s Committee, and increased her herd of pigs to 700.
Several years later, the municipal authorities decided to move breeding farms out of residential areas, so Hậu reduced the herd and turned to fish.
Now she has 300 pigs, while she produces 40 tonnes of fish per year.
The fish are sold at VNĐ14,000 ($0.6) per kilo. On the average, the fish pond brings Hậu more than VNĐ500 million (US$21,700) per year.
“Raising pigs is easier than raising fish, but with the city’s development, I want to find another way to protect the environment,” said Hậu.
Her two children graduated from university and have stable jobs. Her youngest son set up a private real estate firm.
Vũ Thanh Tuấn, deputy director of the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank), said that Hậu was a good example of effectively using capital from the HCM City People’s Committee’s programme to support agricultural development.
“With Hậu’s example, we can see that if a farmer is hard-working, the city’s capital will develop well while the farmers can enrich themselves sustainably,” said Tuấn. — VNS