The Hanoi Agricultural Promotion Fund, established in 2002 with initial capital of five billion VND, has grown into an important non-profit financial channel to help farmers in Hanoi to expand and develop animal husbandry.

Ba Vi district in the outskirt of Hanoi serves as a notable example of the success of the Hanoi Agricultural Promotion Fund. Ten years ago the farmers in Ba Vi decided to switch to cattle farming after realising that the area has all favourable conditions for raising cows. Nguyen Quoc Huy, a local in Yen Bai Commune, said: “After several years of looking for development direction, we finally found it – raising cows and growing elephant grass, but we did not have capital. Thanks to support from the Hanoi Agricultural Promotion Fund, we have enough capital to develop the cow herd like today.”

In 2009, the Hanoi Agricultural Promotion Fund coordinated with Ba Vi Fresh Milk Joint-Stock Company to provide 123 households in the communes of Tan Linh, Yen Bai and Van Hoa in Ba Vi District with 10 billion VND worth of loans to buy cows and grow grass. The fund also financed many training courses on raising cows and milking to ensure the quality of the milk. When thinking back to that time, many locals compared the fund’s support as “bringing rain to the dry land”.

The help from the fund has changed the whole face of the uncultivated mountainous land in Ba Vi, which now has many cow raising farms and vast fields of grass. Farmer Huy gets over 400 litres of milk from his 15 cows everyday. He said: “With such a stable productivity of milk, we earn over eight million VND each day. Initially we raised only two cows, then we asked the fund for a loan and now we have developed the herd to 15 cows.”

Over the years, the fund’s capital source has not only helped the farmers in Ba Vi District but also others in 29 suburban and urban districts and towns in Hanoi . Another example is the family of Nguyen Dinh Vien in Thuong Tin district. Thanks to loans from the fund, his family has developed animal farming and has become a billionaire. Vien said: “In the past, we faced tremendous difficulties in cattle breeding and the income was very low. In 2010, the fund gave my family a loan of 300 million VND for a two-year term. We decided to rent land to build breeding facilities and raise pigs”. From being penniless, his family now has 500 commercial pigs and 200 sows, becoming an example model for cattlemen from neighbouring provinces to visit and learn techniques on raising pigs. After deducting the cost, his family earns over 800 million VND each year. His farm has also provided stable jobs for many locals.

Hoang Van Manh, another borrower of the fund, now owns a chicken farm with 9,000 chickens in Dan Phuong district’s Phuong Dinh commune. Manh said, “My chicken farm is a closed-door model and we earn about 300 million VND a year. The creation of the fund is a sound policy of the city that helps us invest in breeding to become well-off.”

With such encouraging results, the fund is expected to be a reliable companion of farmers in Hanoi in the coming years.-VNA