Bank loans help ethnic minority in Nghe An escape poverty

A series of bank loans are helping Kho Mu ethnic minority people in Xop Chao village in the central province of Nghe An, to escape poverty.
Bank loans help ethnic minority in Nghe An escape poverty ảnh 1Lo Thi Quyen in her farm (Photo:
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - A series of bank loans are helping Kho Mu ethnic minority people in Xop Chao village in the central province of Nghe An, to escape poverty.

Xop Chao in Luong Minh commune is a poor area with no roads, no electricity and no telephone network, in Tuong Duong border district.

A total of 109 households with 457 Kho Mu ethnic people on a natural land area of 6,972 hectares live in the village.

In recent years, policy banks have tried to bring credit capital to help local people develop production and overcome poverty.

Village elder, Lo Tan Dao, 80, said: "Compared to the hard life in the past, the people's lives today are better. Children have been going to school from primary to high school.”

"Before 1960, people lacked rice for six months a year, and lived only by digging sweet potatoes and cassava in the forest."

Since 1960, the State’s ethnic minority area support policies have aided remote regions liked Xop Chao to help local improve people's lives.

"But ethnic minority people's thinking cannot be changed immediately, partly because of customs, and they do not have money or know how to do business, while there is almost no trade here, which local people are not eager to," said Dao.

The only way to reach the village is by motorboat across the Nam Non River. It takes about 40 minutes from the wharf of the Ban Ve Hydroelectric dam.

Deputy Director of the Nghe An Provincial Bank for Social Policy Nguyen Van Vinh said that the Social Policy Bank paid special attention to mountainous and remote areas, especially those with a large number of ethnic minorities such as Xop Chao.

"The bank ensures that families with real needs and suitable conditions can access credit," Vinh said.

The bank also realises that coordination with local authorities to educate local people and changing bad habits and old production methods is key to reducing poverty.

The first loans, 5 million VND each (with no interest), from the bank helped many families buy cattle and develop effective livestock, said the head of Xop Chao, Lo Van Hung.

"Many households now have capital for production and business to improve family income and afford children's education," he said.

Lo Thi Quyen, a 30-year-old local woman, said that she and her husband got married with no money, and quickly decided to take a loan to raise cattle.

After the first loan of 5 million VND two years ago, she borrowed a further 80 million VND to develop a herd of 20 cows and buffaloes.

She has just spent 80 million VND from selling cows to repair her house and is currently raising 13 buffaloes and cows.

“Life is much better now. We are very happy to have a new house," Lo Thi Quyen said.

The bank has given loans to 76 households in Xop Chao, with the value of 2.8 billion VND so far.

“People's lives have gradually been stabilised, the current per capita income is estimated at VNĐ8 -10 million per person, per year,“ village leader Lo Van Hung said.

“The number of households doing good production is increasing, so the number of poor households reduces.”

Nguyen Van Hai, Secretary of the Tuong Duong District Party Committee, said: "The biggest achievement from the bank's credit loan policy is to change the thinking and production form of ethnic minorities."

"When people's thoughts change, they will know how to build the will to be self-reliant to get out of poverty, which is the premise to open up a brighter future for them."

Xop Chao is among the remote areas of Nghe An's ongoing rural power supply project that was approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

“It’s expected that the village will access nation grid electricity soon,” said Hai./.

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