A cucumber field which used to be an unproductive rice field in Trà Vinh Province’s Châu Thành District. Trà Vinh has taken many measures to sustainably mitigate poverty. – VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hòa
TRÀ VINH – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh will spend VNĐ3.56 trillion (US$157.5 million) on poverty alleviation programmes this year.
The money, mobilised from central and local government resources and locals, will be used to build infrastructure in poor areas, help poor people set up businesses or do agriculture and diversify livelihood models for them.
The province has undertaken 62 new infrastructure projects and 18 upgrade works so far this year.
It has also supported nearly 1,500 poor households develop production and adopt new livelihoods.
Nguyễn Văn Út, director of the province Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said there were 9,214 poor households, 5,394 of them Khmer, at the end of last year, for a 3.2 per cent poverty rate.
The province targets to reduce the rate by 1.5 percentage points this year, he said.
It has one of the largest Khmer populations in the delta of more than 320,000, or nearly 32 per cent of its total population.
Through its support policies such as providing soft loans and creating jobs for the ethnic group, many poor Khmer have escaped poverty and attained stability in their lives in recent years.
Thạch Thị Sắc, a poor Khmer woman in Cầu Ngang District’s Nhị Trường Commune, got three soft loans worth a total of VNĐ60 million ($2,600) from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policy for breeding cows, growing vegetables and building facilities for clean water supply and environmental sanitation three years ago.
Thanks to them, she now has six cows and grows vegetables for selling year round, earning VNĐ 150 – 200 million ($6,500 – 8,600) a year, she said.
“I will register with local authorities to move my family out of the poverty list at the end of this year,” she said.
Poverty reduction models
Besides support policies for poor households, the province has also created many effective poverty reduction models to help people permanently escape poverty.
In Cầu Kè District, the Women’s Union has set up savings models to mobilise money from its members to lend to poor members.
One of the models involves each member saving VNĐ10,000 a month for lending to poor members to set up some business or do agriculture.
The union has also collaborated with the local Women’s Union Vocational Training Centre, Industrial Development Consultancy and Promotion Centre, Phước Lộc Co-operative in Tam Ngãi Commune, and Tiến Thành Production Establishment in Phong Phú Commune to teach its members vocational skills and create jobs for them.
These have helped more than 480 households headed by women escape poverty in 2017 – 19, it said.
In Trà Cú District’s Phước Hưng Commune, the commune Party Committee has assigned each Party member to guide and help five poor households with doing business or agriculture to escape poverty.
Thạch Ngọc Loan, secretary of the commune’s Chòm Chuối hamlet Party cell, said last year 30 poor households received support from assigned Party members, six with housing and 16 with calves for breeding.
The assigned members regularly visited the 30 households to listen to their difficulties and give them instructions and support.
Now all 30 have basic housing and facilities and inputs for production.
“Twenty eight of the 30 poor households [officially] escaped poverty at the end of last year,” Loan said.
The hamlet has 71 poor households.
Province authorities have encouraged poor households to join co-operatives and co-operative groups to improve production efficiency and have guaranteed demand for their products.
The province has 165 co-operatives with nearly 28,000 members, of which 117 grow crops or do aquaculture or animal husbandry.
They have helped boost agricultural production and reduce poverty in their localities, according to authorities. – VNS