Hundreds of farmer households in the southern province of Kien Giang have escaped poverty thanks to a project that provides them with cows and loans for animal husbandry.

Funded by Heifer Vietnam, a US humanitarian organisation, and the provincial budget, the project has given 300 farmer households in Vinh Hoa Hung Nam and Dinh An communes of Go Quao district with 300 heifers, together with ducks or other animals suitable with each household’s needs and skills. Each household was also given 3 million VND (around 140 USD) for building animal barns and short-term production or petty trade.

Mr. Trinh Dieu in Village 6, Vinh Hoa Hung Nam commune, said his family received a heifer in April 2012. The cow already produced a healthy calf. His family also raised 100 ducks with the money from the project, and now egg selling is another source of income for them, which can be as much as 3 million VND a month.

According to the director of the provincial Agriculture-Aquaculture Promotion Centre, Dang Khanh Hong, around 175 heifers raised by the project’s beneficiaries have produced calves and 24 female calves have been transferred to other poor families, thus helping spread out the effect of the project.

The project began in Kien Giang in November 2011 with a total budget of 6.9 billion VND to which the province contributed 3.45 billion VND.-VNA