Authorities in northern Lai Chau province are making efforts to promote local crops and raise incomes for local residents, aiming to reduce hunger and poverty.

The promoted crops include cassava, bananas and edible canna, which are highly suitable for the conditions in Ma Ly Pho commune in Phong Tho district, one of the poorest localities in the province with a rate of impoverished households exceeding 70 percent.

According to Ly Ta May, a banana grower in the commune, a hectare of bananas can generate 180 million VND (8,400 USD) for a six-month crop, five times that of growing rice.

May has nearly 300 banana trees and plans to plant 200 more to increase family income.

Cassava is also a high-yield crop. Its rich starch has attracted a number of traders to the locality, boosting its per kilogramme price from 8,000 VND (38 cents) to 1,500 VND (71 cents).

This year, Lu Van Pao from Son Than 2 village earns 40 million VND (1,870 USD) from four hectares of cassava.

He is one of the highest earners in the locality from cassava, with his average income ranging between 20-30 million VND (900-1,400 USD) annually.

Lo Van Ty, Chairman of the Ma Ly Pho communal People’s Committee, said happily that, these crops, which were once underestimated, are bringing sustainable source of income for local people.

The commune has zoned off nearly 30 percent of its land to develop these crops, aiming to reduce the local impoverished household rate to below 30 percent.-VNA