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Title Rural development project bears fruit
Date 2008-12-09 View 57

Rural development project bears fruit
22:23' 07/12/2008 (GMT+7)

The living standard of residents has improved since taking part in the project.

VietNamNet Bridge - A five-year community-based rural development project is already seeing the fruits after two years of implementation in Hoa Minh and Giua villages in the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Phu Tho.

With financial and technical support from the Korean Government, Hoa Minh Village, which is home to 700 people, has turned four hectares of ineffective low-land rice production into aqua culture and high-yield watermelon and potato fields since early 2007.

Korean backing

The Korean Government gave VND3.1 billion (US$182,000) of the VND7.4 billion ($448,500) project. The remainder came from the state budget and residents.

Local resident Nguyen VanThang said his family’s living standard has improved since taking part in the project.

Thang’s five member family had nearly 2,900sq.m of paddy fields. With two low yield rice and other crops, the family was unable to make ends meet in the past.

"I took part in the project and converted 1,440sq.m to watermelon instead of rice. The change has helped my family earn between VND10 million to VND12 million, three to four times more than rice would," said Thang.

The project supports women by upgrading cooking system. This reduce smoke and protects the environment, said Cap Van Son, vice chairman of Bac Giang Province’s Hop Duc Commune.

Son said the pilot project had been carried out in many neighbouring villages. Many people have worked hard to improve their living standards by upgrading local roads, building an irrigation system and using high-yield seeds.

Doctor Heo Jang from Korea’s Rural Economy Institute said this project, which is based on the Saemaul Undong model from Korea, would help people develop their economy, self-reliance and co-operation.

Support from Government and international organisations will help the project lure investment and materials from localities for further village development.

According to Vu Thi Ngoc Tran from the Institute for Planning and Agriculture Design, the Korean Government has supported Viet Nam since 2000 to carry out the pilot project in poor communes in Vinh Thanh in central Quang Tri Province and Khoi Ky in northern Thai Nguyen Province.

Through the Korea International Co-operation Agency, the community-based project has so far built 6.3km of canals and upgraded more than 5.2km of roads. Many houses, kitchens, toilets and bathrooms have been upgraded.

Tran said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had begun a rural development pilot project and that the Saemaul Undong model should be expanded because of its success in Quang Tri and Thai Nguyen.

(Source: VNS)

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