|Le Van An has become better-off thanks to polyculture.
After Le Van An moved to Khanh Lam commune in 2003, his family acquired 7 ha of forest land. He was allowed to convert 30% of it to farm land on which he decided to grow fruit trees and raise fish rather than planting rice. He began by planting 0.5 ha with 200 grapefruit and mango trees.
After 3 years, it became clear that growing grapefruit trees offered much higher profits than growing rice, so An expanded the model to more than 2 ha. He made the most of the vacant land under the fruit trees to grow vegetables.
An annual revenue of 4,300 USD from fruit and fish has enabled his family to escape poverty and gradually become better-off.
“At first we operated on a small scale and earned about 1,300 USD a year. That success persuaded us to expand the model to the rest of our farm land. Growing fruit trees is 10 times as profitable as growing rice,” says An.
Because the model was effective, local authorities provided capital to other local farmers to implement the model.
| Nguyen Van Tinh has invested in making a net house for growing vegetables.
Nguyen Van Tinh's family got a preferential loan for economic development. He used the loan to start a one-hactare farm growing safe vegetables.
400 square meters were devoted to safe vegetables and the rest was dedicated to growing fruit trees and raising fish. Tinh’s income has grown.
Tinh told VOV, “We used phosphorus, lime, and manure to reduce the soil’s acidity. With the right farming techniques, the vegetables will be very good. I can earn 26 USD from a vegetable plot of about 10 square meters.”
The per capita income in Khanh Lam commune has surpassed 1,900 USD a year. In 2016, the commune had about 1,100 poor households.
| The rural area in U Minh area has greatly changed.
Now there are only 200, less than 6% of the village population, and Khanh Lam now has one of the best road systems in the district.
Huynh Thanh Luol, Vice Chairman of Khanh Lam Commune, said, “Every year, the commune encourages people to adopt more effective economic models to escape poverty. We have focused on the model of raising fish and growing both vegetables and fruit trees.”
Khanh Lam has completed 15 of 19 criteria for building a new-style rural area. This year the commune hopes to become the fourth new-style rural village in U Minh district.