“What’s your secret?” “How can we grow crops like you?” They’re questions that father-of-three, Tiep, is frequently asked by passers-by after joining our Adopt-A-Farmer program.
Just two years ago, Tiep, 55 and his wife Yen, 54, were eking out a living as cassava and sweet potato farmers. Through our program, Tep found out the soil conditions on his farm were far more suited to growing guava, grapefruit and peanuts.
Tiep has so far had two bountiful guava harvests which have sold successfully, while his side crops, grapefruit and peanuts have also done well.
“Guava is easier to grow in this soil and easy to sell on the market,” he said.
“I’m making a bigger profit than before.”
A father of three, Tiep comes from a long line of rice farmers in a disadvantaged rural commune in Quang Nam province, Vietnam, where 90% of households rely on farming for income.
For a long time, Tiep wanted to diversify his crops but didn’t know where to start. After he joined our program two years ago, he received the saplings and guidance he needed.
“For years I wanted to try something new but didn’t have any support,” Tiep said.
“When I joined the program, I was given advice and special training. The training was instrumental - I wouldn’t have been able to do anything without it.”
The saplings that Tiep used come from the Mekong Delta, a fertile region in Vietnam well known for its abundance of fruit farms. There were reservations that these crops would not grow well elsewhere in Vietnam, however, they are flourishing on Tiep’s farm.
Adopt-A-Farmer provides recommendations to farmers about the crops to grow, based on the individual conditions on each farm and the reliability of local market demand for the crops. As part of the program, an agricultural specialist visits each participant’s farm, tests and analyses the soil and conducts follow up visits to provide customised advice.
The participants in Adopt-A-Farmer also take part in classroom training in which they equipped with skills to improve their crop yields and increase their income. They learn about disease prevention, new farming techniques and proper use of insecticides and fertilisers and how to improve their irrigation. Tiep was one of 20 students in his class.
It has been said that a true indication of whether community development has been successful is when people become entrepreneurial and things take on a life of their own.
In Tiep’s case, the demand for his guava seeds by impressed members of the community is so great that he is planning to start a guava sapling selling business as extra income.
Help a struggling farmer improve their family’s future today for support Adopt-A-Farmer. For just $140, you can pay for the saplings and training for a farmer.
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