Rattan Seedling Producer at Nursery Garden at Yen Hoa commune
Rattan Sub-sector Development Project in Tuong Duong district

Luong Thi Kim, a Thai-ethnic woman is so looking forward to the days she can reap the benefits of joining the OHK-sponsored rattan project in Tuong Duong district, Nghe An province. At the young age of 31, Kim has already been an impoverished widow who takes care of two young kids. One is her own 10-year-old son, and the other her 14-year-old niece, whose mother remarried and no longer lives there after the death of her previous husband. Apart from working hard on her 500m2 paddy field, Kim does everything she can to sustain their living, from raising pigs and chicken to engaging in petty trade, whereas her kids have to collect firewood in the nearby forest to sell for small amounts of money. When the rattan project is introduced to her place, Kim decided to join with the hope of easing their financial straits.
The first thing she and her neighbors did for the rattan nursery garden was to reclaim the land, which was a labor-consuming task. Not less laborious is to fetch the water as rattan seedlings are always thirsty yet springs are so far away. As for Kim, everyday she waters 25,000 seedlings. However, the most challenging part is to put the young seedlings into cups. “At first, we thought it was very difficult. But thanks to the elaborate and detailed instructions of the specialists, who are very skillful and devoted, all of us manage to do it. We are proud of ourselves. We also learned a lot of things – things that we had not known before”, said Kim.

With smiles on her face, she continued to tell us that now she enjoys going to the garden to look at her rattans every day. There was a time when participants in the project even called each other to visit the garden at night to watch out harmful insects and animals. In the past, they were inattentive to each other. But no more now. Time and efforts spent as well as the mutual assistance generously offered at the rattan garden have bonded them together closely.

Kim is told that the price of a seedling cup is 1,600 VND. With 25,000 seedlings she is taking care of now, she is looking forward to the days she can sell her seedlings and her family will earn a considerable amount of money. Then her kids can study higher comfortably, the family will have new clothes and utensils, and her niece will no longer have to go to the forest to collect firewood. Better things await them in the near future.

Trung Pham Quang is Senior Researcher of VietSurvey Research and Analysis. He has ten years of experience in research, M&E, strategic planning and project management for the governmental and international clients and employers in Asia and Africa, with the major in agriculture, rural development, poverty reduction, value chain and business development in Vietnam and the region.

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