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Farmers displaced by urban growth helped to find, train for new careers
08 | 11 | 2007
The Farmers Association of Cu Chi District — where most of HCM City’s farmers live —works to create jobs for its members whose land has been lost to urbanisation.

Young farm hands find jobs in local industrial zones, but for older farmers, with their limited education, finding a job is difficult.

In Tan An Hoi Commune – where urbanisation is well underway – only 25 per cent of local workers now make their livings from raising livestock and cultivation.

In response, the commune’s farmers association has established farmer groups to raise dairy cows, market gardens, orchids and ornamental flowers.

The groups have almost 300 members.

Tan Thanh Dong Commune’s economy is based entirely on agriculture. It has 1,900ha of arable land and almost 8,000 cows or 10 per cent of HCM City’s dairy herd.

Tan Phu Trung has a tradition of market gardens and is recognised as the city’s precinct for clean produce. Here, the Farmers Association has established co-operative groups to maintain the tradition.

Cu Chi District Farmers Association Chairman Le Thanh Phong says his organisation co-ordinates with enterprises to teach farmers how to grow and sell clean produce.

"Along with maintaining 21 agriculture promotion clubs and 22 clubs for farming families, we established 60 branches for different jobs – such as growing vegetables and raising cows – from 2002 to 2007," he says.

Much of Tan Phu Trung Commune’s land has gone to industrial zones but it still has 2,522ha of arable land.

The commune’s Farmers Association has asked the district Farmers Association, the Farmer Assistance Centre and the HCM City Farmers Association to provide farmers with short-term courses in the growing of crops and raising of livestock of high economic value.

Hundreds of the commune’s farmers, as well as farmers in other Cu Chi District communes and from the nearby Long An and Binh Duong Provinces, have attended its orchid and bonsai classes during the past three years.

The association’s members have converted low-productivity rice-growing land to 5.6ha of orchid and 10ha of bonsai growing areas.

Contracts for the sale of the orchids and bonsai have been signed with the local Minh Tan Ornamental Garden Enterprise.

The commune’s Farmers Association cites the families of Pham Van Truong, Nguyen Tan Lap, Luong Van Trieu and Dang Van Tu as examples of once poor farmers who have become prosperous from the sale of ornamental shrubs.

Tan Phu Trung Commune Farmers Association chairman Ho Thanh Sang said his organisation would co-operate with the Minh Tan Ornamental Garden to establish a job training centre for farmers.

The centre would also supply capital and sell flowers and bonsai for the farmers, he said.



Source: VNS
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