The Central Highlands province of Lam Dong has eradicated hunger and curbed illegal deforestation for cultivation as a result of local efforts to settle ethnic minority people through building infrastructure, contracting them to take care of forest and providing them with assistance in farming.

Lam Dong is home to 40 ethnic minority groups totalling 286,258 people, accounting for 24.1 percent of the province’s population.

According to reports of the provincial People’s Committee, ethnic communities are currently growing coffee, tea, rice, corn and cashew on nearly 50,000 hectares, or 18 percent of the total agricultural land in Lam Dong. On average, each ethnic household has 1.08 hectares of farm land.

In addition to the State’s programmes and policies that support production in rural and ethnic areas, the province has assisted locals in accessing science and technology advance to enhance plant and animal productivity and quality, thus allowing them to escape from poverty and settle lives on their own.

At the same time, relevant authorities have signed contracts with 16,397 ethnic households on the management and protection of 319,855 hectares of forest, giving them stable income.

Besides agriculture and forestry, handicraft making has become a source of income for ethnic communities. As many as 1,055 ethnic and rural households in the locality are making work tools, wooden goods and brocades, mostly to serve local demand.

In the coming time, to drive the development of ethnic areas, Lam Dong will continue to prioritise building rural infrastructure, the road network, markets, health care and education facilities. More efforts will be made to promote the application of technology to agricultural production, support the development of traditional craft villages.

At the same time, the provincial authorities plan to organise more vocational training courses and create jobs for ethnic people, while encouraging ethnic students to study by reducing school fees and giving out financial support.-VNA