Danish Project Brings Success to Vietnamese Farmers

The Danish International Development Agency launched their US$1.7 million Development of Ethnic Groups Community programme in Vietnam in 2006. The project takes sustainable farm methods to ethnic communities. Hoa Binh, Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Nghe An and Ha Tinh were all adopted in the programme.
The project seeks to improve the living standards of ethnic minority people by raising awareness of sustainable farming in mountainous areas.
A review of the project held by the Vietnam Farmers Association and Agricultural Development Denmark Asia found 8,490 farmers have mastered the technique of growing vegetables and maize using the Integrated Pest Management method.
They have learnt how to monitor paddy fields, use fertilisers, and spray pesticide in a correct manner, which has helped reduce production costs and protect the environment.
The project has also updated farmers on farming techniques, market access, health care, access and use of community facilities, and future plans for village development.
Project managers have instructed localities in setting up community-based groups and practising intensive farming to increase plant and livestock output.
These groups will gradually develop and unite under an agricultural products association that will have a broader outlet and bring in higher revenues.
Ha Phuc Mich, vice chairman of the Vietnam Farmers Association, and head of the project’s consulting board, said the project has brought awareness among ethnic minority people of sustainable cultivation.
Farmers now apply advanced technologies in their own homes and share the difficulties of those not involved in the project, creating solidarity among themselves, he said.
Thanks to the new farming techniques, farmers now harvest nine to 11 tonnes of maize per ha, 35-45 per cent higher than through traditional techniques. Vegetable and fruit yields have gone up by 50 per cent.