|A number of households and tea production establishments in Tan Cuong commune have offered homestay services to receive tourists.
Tan Cuong’s low hills covered with tea trees have long been an attraction for domestic and foreign tourists. 90% of the 1,600 households in Tan Cuong commune are engaged in farming.
Tea trees produce good incomes for local people. The commune administration há encouraged villagers to adopt new economic models and apply technology to planting, harvesting, and processing tea in combination with pursuing community-based tourism. This approach has already improved local people’s lives.
Many families in Tan Cuong who own tea farms have built facilities where tourists can drink tea, observe tea harvesting and processing, and arrange an overnight homestay in a local house, not to mention enjoying a view of the picturesque tea hills.
|The tea culture space of Hao Dat Tea Company
Hao Dat tea is another famous brand and an attraction. Dao Thanh Hao, Director of the Hao Dat Tea Company, says, “When an OCOP product is rated 4 stars, we’ve recognized its growth potential. So we want to print that certification on the product packaging. This year we’re trying to become a 5-star OCOP product to promote our brand and get customers to buy them.”
In 2007, the Thai Nguyen Tea Association was established by a group of businesses, cooperatives, farm households, social organizations, and individuals. Its 106 members now include 40 enterprises, 52 cooperatives, 4 clubs, and 9 household businesses.
The Ha Thai Tea Company in La Bang commune, Dai Tu district, has more than 300 hectares of tea trees, of which 40 hectares are reserved for organic cultivation. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Ha Thai will still export about 100 tons of tea this year because its products are certified to meet OCOP standards, said Nguyen Thi Hien, the company’s President.
According to Hien, “It’s difficult to build a successful product brand, but it’s even more difficult to gain a firm foothold in the market. Creating qualified tea product requires farmer to be meticulous at each stage, especially for organic tea products.”
Thai Nguyen has 19,000 hectares of tea with an annual output of 200,000 tons of fresh bud tea, 80% of which is consumed domestically. The rest is processed for export.
Combining the “One commune one product” (OCOP) program with tourism development has given Thai Nguyen greater opportunities to increase incomes, contribute to poverty reduction, and successfully implement new-style rural building.
Tran Nho Huong, Deputy Chief of the provincial Office for New-style Rural Building, said, “Combining the branding of Thai Nguyen tea and eco-tourism development has been the right strategy to help the local economy develop sustainably.”