|The economic model has initially profited Leo Van Binh’s family 4,300 USD in the last crop.
The family of Leo Van Binh used to be a poor household in the Hua It sub-area. The family’s income came from low-output maize and cassava fields.
In 2015, with the support of the district Bank for Social Policies and the sub-area authorities, Binh got a 2,200-USD preferential loan to expand his cultivation area and convert his crop to fruit trees adapted to the local climate and soil. Three years later, Binh borrowed the same amount from the Bank for Social Policies to buy seedlings and livestock.
Binh and his family now have more than a hectare producing longan, green-skinned pomelo, mango, and jackfruit, plus buffaloes, cows, and a flock of poultry.
Binh told us his last crop earned 4,300 USD after expenses. When his trees are fully grown, if prices remain stable, he’ll earn approximately 11,000 USD.
“We used the loan from the local Bank for Social Policies to buy cows and land to plant fruit trees. We now have a stable fruit orchard and healthy cattle, and traders come directly to our fields to buy our fruit,” said Binh.
Preferential loans from the Bank for Social Policies have greatly stimulated business in Son La province.
The Huu Hao Tay Bac Company in Van Minh hamlet, for example, has 90 employees and specializes in mineral mining plus civil engineering, construction, and road freight transport.
The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to keep paying the workers’ wages, but a zero percent loan from the Bank helped the company maintain production, said Director Do Xuan Hao.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our workers contracted the virus and had to be quarantined. Customers were restricted from traveling, and manufactured goods could not be sold. It was an extremely difficult period. But, thanks to the support of the Bank for Social Policies, we were able to pay our workers’ wages,” said Hao.
Ta Van Toan, Deputy Director of the Son La Province Bank for Social Policies, said that in 20 years of implementing Decree 78, the credit policy has helped hundreds of thousands of poor and near poor households escape poverty.
Many households have borrowed money to purchase equipment, seedlings, and seeds to implement new economic models, creating jobs and securing local welfare.
Last year the loans totaled 63,000 USD. Most of the borrowers have been able to keep up with their debt repayment terms, according to Toan.
“We will continue to monitor socio-economic developments, especially in remote and isolated areas, and disseminate social policy credit, so that people can continue to obtain the capital they need to overcome unexpected difficulties,” Toan added.