| Cows raised by farmer Duong Van Tao.
Born in a coastal area in the southern province of Tra Vinh, Duong Van Tao worked at various jobs to earn a living. Growing rice for a long time brought him little money, so Tao switched to using agricultural waste to feed animals and grow mushrooms.
“I went to Ho Chi Minh city to start a business selling agricultural products. There, I learned some agricultural production models and began growing mushrooms,” said Tao.
Tao says his mushroom growing model was successful, producing around a ton of mushrooms per day. To make use of agricultural waste, he raised cows and grew coconuts, which earned him more than 6,500 USD per year.
With the success of his mushroom cultivation and husbandry business, Tao continued to expand his production. He started selling construction and interior decoration materials, which gives him an income of 56,000 USD per year.
Mr. Kim Giang, Vice Chairman of Phuoc Hung commune’s People’s Committee, where Tao lives, said, “Tao works very hard and is eager to learn. He runs several successful businesses, creates jobs and helps others escape poverty”.
Tao loans other farmers the capital to develop their production and escape poverty.
“My family didn’t have any land for farming. Mr. Tao gave me a loan to build a house, and a stable job,”said Mr. Kim Bet, Tao’s neighbor.
Duong Van Tao (L) shares his business experience with Kim Bet.
3 years ago, Tao got involved in breeding salangane – birds whose nests are considered a culinary delicacy. His 400 square meters of salanganes will bring him around 4,400 USD this year.
“It is essential to be patient and learn from failure. You need to follow your goal from the beginning to the end,” said Tao.
Tao now employs 15 people who earn an average of about 350 USD per month.
He was named “Outstanding Farmer” last year for his successful businesses and contribution to poverty reduction.