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Organic veggies to bring healthy rewards for Quang Tri farmers
01 | 07 | 2007
Vegetable farmers in Dong Ha Town, Quang Tri Province looking to reap the rewards of a new improved model for raising crops.

The "Safe vegetable production, processing and consumption project," instigated by the People’s Committee of Dong Ha Town, aims to focus on scale and quality of production of vegetables, according to Nguyen Xuan Anh, Vice President of The People’s Committee of Dong Ha Town.

The project "is expected to be implemented from early 2007-2010 and will cover 2ha of farming land in Dong Giang, Dong Le and Ward 2, with an investment capital of VND2 billion (US$125,000) ," Anh said.

The project will employ a variety of measures in order to achieve these goals. They include providing advanced net-houses to prevent insect damage and better plastic covers to protect the plants, in addition to making improvements in the cultivation of seedlings.

However, there are obstacles. Inconsistent investment in infrastructure to support vegetable growing areas is one, another being soil that has been eroded or exhausted due to unskilled farmers and excessive use of chemical fertilisers.

At the moment, Dong Ha Town grows vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and turnip over 112 out of its total 800ha of land. Annual average yield is anywhere from eight to ten tonnes per ha, much higher than the average profit from rice cultivation.

Although soil across the whole province generally lends itself well to vegetable growing, yields of individual wards vary depending on the amount of land they use to grow the crops.

Dong Thanh is one of the largest, with 40ha. Each year it cashes in an annual revenue of VND4 billion (US$250,000), said Pham Van Tuong, President of Dong Thanh Agriculture Services Co-operative.

"This provides farmers with annual profits of about VND 75 to 80 million (up to US$ 5,000) per hectare ," Tuong said.

"There are currently dozens of households specialising in cultivating vegetables for sale, five of which have a daily income of VND100,000 (US$6.25), while the rest earn from VND30,000 to 50,000 (up to US$3) per day," the president added.

If the new model is successful, yields will increase to 40 to 45 tonnes of vegetable per ha per year with yearly earnings of more than VND100 million (US$ 6,250).

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