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IPSARD - Organic vegetables raise farmers’ profits
Organic vegetables raise farmers’ profits (02/11/2011)

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HOA BINH — The big garden, green with many organic vegetables and a joy of local farmers from northern Hoa Binh Province’s Luong Son District, has found success under a pilot project launched by the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry’s Institute of Policy and Strategy and Rural Development.

Farmers water their organic vegetable fields in the suburb of Hoa Binh City, Hoa Binh Province.
The project was launched in 2009 and sponsored by the Spanish Agency for International Development Co-operation (AECID).
Nguyen Thi Thuy, 43, a local Muong-ethnic-minority farmer said, "I've earned VND2 million (US$97) per month from growing organic vegetables, as opposed to growing rice and receiving half in the past."
"I took part in a three-month course to learn how to grow and care for organic vegetables at a local college named Bac Bo Agricultural and Rural Development," she said.
"That was the first time I heard about organic vegetables and I wondered whether growing them was hard," she said.
Processing home-made pesticides from chilli, garlic and ginger to prevent worms for the vegetables is the hardest step, Thuy said.
"However, scientists of the institute supported me very much," she said.
The organic vegetables are planted in an area of 1.5ha under Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS), an international organic certification for small farmers, said Nguyen Xuan Te, vice chairman of the district People's Committee.
Around 80 local households benefited from the pilot project, he said.
"We receive around 1.2 tonnes of organic vegetables per month, said Pham Ngoc Ben, a representative of Green Link Co Ltd – one of the distributors of the vegetables.
The price of the organic vegetables is often double what it usually is in the markets, he said.
He explained the reason was because organic vegetables are grown under the PGS and need more time to harvest than vegetables grown using artificial methods.
However, the organic vegetables are safer for customers because no chemicals are used to grow them, he added.
Dang Kim Son, head of the institute said the success of the pilot model, with the co-operation of farmers, scientists, businesses and the State, is the first favourable step the local authority has taken to implement organic vegetable growing in the province.
"The move also aims to better carry out targets of Project 1956 to provide vocational training courses for rural labourers issued by the Government," he said.
In a related move, a co-operative of organic vegetable was set up yesterday in the province to repeat the model in other districts.
The organic vegetables are planned to cover nearly six ha, said Nguyen Duc Xuong, head of the co-operative.
The co-operative will provide about 77 tonnes of organic vegetable each year to the market, not only in Hoa Binh province, but other places as well, he said.
Growing organic vegetables will reduce the costs of buying fertiliser, pesticides. It takes advantage of manure, minimises environmental pollution and is good for the health of the customer, he said.


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