|Danh Thị Kim Ảnh with her green skin pomelo. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt|
KIÊN GIANG — A Khmer woman in the Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang has started a successful pomelo-growing business.
Thanks to a loan from the Government's project to support women to start businesses, Danh Thị Kim Ảnh in Phước Ninh Hamlet, Mong Thọ B Commune of Châu Thành District invested in growing green-skin and pink-flesh pomelos and earns hundreds of millions đồng profit every year.
“Previously, my family was so poor. We just lived on planting rice that brought low and unstable income," Ảnh said.
“Although we had a 4,000sq.m garden, we left it abandoned because we did not have money to buy seedlings,” she added.
After many years of saving, Ảnh bought 20 green-skin and pink-flesh pomelo trees from the neighbouring province of Đồng Tháp to plant.
The results showed that this grapefruit variety suited the climate and soil of the region.
However, she lacked the capital to grow on a larger scale.
In a meeting of the Women's Union of Mong Thọ B Commune in 2017, she proposed her start-up idea and was provided with a loan of VNĐ50 million (US$2,100) from the Policy Bank under the project to support women to start businesses in 2017-2025.
With the money, Ảnh renovated a 1,000sq.m area of the garden and planted 100 more grapefruit trees.
She was also provided training courses on cultivation and was instructed by agricultural engineers on growing, caring and fertilising techniques to ensure product safety.
By 2020, her pomelo garden was ready to harvest. Ảnh harvested nearly four tonnes of fruits and earned VNĐ180-200 million (US$7,000 – 8,600) of turnover, of which the profit was VNĐ100 million ($4,300).
After gaining the profit, Ảnh planted 200 more trees to cover the 4,000sq.m garden.
“Recently, Châu Thành District’s Women’s Union approved a loan worth VNĐ100 million from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies for me to invest in renovating the irrigation system which helped the pomelo grow better,” she said.
It is expected that in the next two years, when 4,000sq.m of the pomelo garden brings a steady harvest, Ảnh's family will earn VNĐ300-400 million ($13,000-17,000) per year.
Ảnh’s pomelos have received good reviews from clients because they are so juicy and sweet.
Ảnh used the loans effectively to develop her business, said Huỳnh Thị Ngọc Vàng, deputy president of Mong Thọ B Commune’s Women’s Union.
“She had a clear start-up orientation and was always industrious and diligent,” Vàng said.
“Importantly, she complied with cultivation techniques and processes so she achieved high economic efficiency,” she said.
“Ảnh’s successful model motivated local people to learn and follow. At present, many households have applied Ảnh’s model and earn stable incomes and this has helped them escape from poverty,” she said.
Speaking about her initial success, Ảnh said: “To achieve success in starting my own business, I had to work hard, with burning passion and spirit to overcome difficulties.”
“In my experience, women needed to know what they are passionate about to have a suitable entrepreneurial direction,” the Khmer woman said.
“Once pursued, it is necessary to work hard, persevere and constantly learn from other people,” she said. — VNS