Sandy soil veggies lift farmers out of poverty hinh anh 1A farmer tends to her vegetables on a sandy land plot in Dien Loc Commune, Thua-Thien Hue Province. (Photo: VNA)
 Thua Thien-Hue (VNA) - Growing vegetables on sandy fields is helping farmers out of poverty in a coastal commune in the central province of Thua Thien- Hue.

Farmers in Dien Loc commune are reaping success from the new effort, something older generations have not been able to do.

Le Huy, a local farmer, said he is growing vegetables on a 0.5ha sandy land plot and earning an average annual income of 150 million VND (6,600 USD). “This has helped farmers here a lot in improving their income. We are no longer poor,” he said.

Huy said he learnt this cultivation model from a local man, Ho Hoi.

Hoi, whose family had struggled in poverty for many years, initiated the new venture in 2013 by making sandy embankments around his land and digging tiny canals inside the land plot to hold water for his vegetables.

The embankment helps to hold water inside and prevents hot sand from flying around and damaging the vegetables.

Dien Loc commune has a total area of and more than 80 per cent of its area is sandy.

After Hoi piloted the cultivation model and earned 100 million VND in the first year growing lettuce, celery, green mustard and garland chrysanthemum, he expanded his garden.

Today, his family grows vegetables on a one-hectare sandy land plot for an annual income of 300 million VND.

Other farmers in the commune have copied Hoi’s model and succeeded.

“I can’t imagine that I can afford enough for the whole family. My neighbours and I lived in poverty until Hoi sparked this,” said Le Khuyen, another farmer.

Commune Chairman Le Van Thang said a total of 400 farmers are now applying this model on 50ha.

Thang said locally produced vegetables have been bought and consumed in the neighbouring provinces of Quang Binh and Quang Tri. “The model has lifted up the local economy and we have a plan to expand the area to 60ha.”

Dien Loc is among the five communes with highest percentage of sandy soil in the district. The Phong Dien district People’s Committee is planning to apply the model in other communes of Dien Huong, Dien Hoa, Dien Hai and Dien Mon.

District Vice Chairman Nguyen Van Binh said his administration has prepared a plan to supply farmers with electricity lines and pumps in order to improve irrigation and make the model even more effective.

“Farmers will be equipped with knowledge of Vietnam’s GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) standards to produce better quality vegetables, meeting demands of a wider market,” he said.-VNA