Vu Van Bang takes care of his flower garden in the northern province of Ninh Bình. (Photo: baoninhbinh.org.vn)

Ninh Binh (VNS/VNA) - Local farmers in the northern province of Ninh Binh’s Ninh Binh city have earned a better living by applying hi-tech farming practices.

Vu Van Bang, of Ninh Phuc commune’s Doai Thuong village, has changed his life by applying technology in growing flowers over the last couple of years.

Bang said he used to plant a lot of vegetables to earn a living, but the income was not enough to cover his family’s expenses.

He decided to try another method, planting flowers instead of vegetables. However, everything is hard before it is easy. His income was largely unchanged after planting daisies, roses and gladiolus flowers in his garden.

Bang spent many nights to thinking about the problem. He even came to localities that were very successful in growing flowers to learn from the farmers’ experiences.

Then he discovered that the method he used to plant his flowers was outdated. “It needed to be changed to catch up with current trends,” he said.

When he returned to his hometown in 2016, Bang decided to apply a hi-tech farming model.

He built solid grid, bought weed control fabric and starting running an automatic irrigation system on his 1.800sq.m garden.

Bang earned 480 million VND (20,700 USD) in 2016 and 570 million VND (24,600 USD) in 2017.

He plans to triple the area of his garden in the time to come. Bang is not the only success story.

Pham Van Hung of the commune’s Ninh Son ward tripled his income within one year after building an automatic irrigation system in his turmeric field.

He brought in 270 million VND (11,600 USD) last year from cultivating herbs and old and antique roses.

Hung also used the automatic irrigation system in his garden. The system helped him save water and cut down on labourers, who had been tasked with watering the flowers every day.

The commune’s Ninh Phuc Garden Cooperative has also built an automatic irrigation system.

Data from the cooperative showed that using the irrigation system had led to a 60 percent reduction in its total water usage.

The improvement of residents’ income is also thanks to the local authorities’ encouragement.

The city administration issued a policy to encourage individuals and organisations to apply science and technology in production.

First, local growers would receive a water fee discount and exemption. In Vietnam, irrigation systems in fields were built by local authorities with funds from the State budget. Farmers had to pay a fee to use the irrigation system each year.

Second, local growers were given free training courses to update their skills and knowledge of hi-tech farming models.

Furthermore, last year the city built four hi-tech farming models for vegetables and flowers, covering a total area of over 2,500sq.m, so that local growers could learn how to apply the models in their own gardens.

This support has made the city a bright spot in the province’s cultivation sector.-VNS/VNA