Advanced technology to benefit farmers in Don Duong

Wednesday, 2017-02-01 23:11:25
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Nguyen Hong Chuong (L)
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NDO – In the last days of December, 2016, reporters of Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper made a trip to the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong’s Don Duong district, to examine high-tech applications used in planting vegetables and flowers.

Don Duong district, located in the northeast of Lam Dong province and about 30 kilometres from the provincial capital of Da Lat, has a population of 99,000 and is divided into eight communes and two townships.

Capitalising on its favourable climate, Don Duong has become a centre of vegetable and flower growing, with around 8,900 hectares employing advanced technology and posting annual revenues of VND220 million per hectare, some models of agricultural production reached from VND500 to VND1 billion per hectare. The district applied modern technology to 82% of 22,000 hectares allocated for growing vegetables. Over 50 agricultural producers in the districts, with 300 hectares, have received the Vietnam Agriculture Practice (VietGAP) certificate, while five other agricultural producers, with 78 hectares, have been granted the VietGAP green label certificate, which is one level higher than the standard VietGAP recognition.

Don Duong is the first district in the Central Highlands to receive a certificate from the prime minister recognising it as a new-style rural district. Nguyen Hong Chuong is one of the local people who have made significant contributions to the new rural development program. He is an amateur inventor. After producing his first inventions in 2009, 16 of his inventions were recognised by science which have been licensed or certified by functional agencies, contributing to improving agricultural productivity. In 2013, Chuong received the Prime Minister’s certificate of merit for his contributions to Vietnam’s new rural development program.

It's a surprise that this 43-year-old farmer who only received a secondary education is able to invent such a variety of machinery for agricultural production. In his 1,000-metre squared workshop, Chuong and his employees have created a series of machines, such as a vacuum sowing machine, a foam box earth-filling machine, a humus blender, compost-making machines, planting pot casting machines, and soil conveyor belts. He said that there were many options but he decided to invent agricultural machinery to help farmers because he is also a farmer. He has been trying to produce machines that will increase productivity.

He had to borrow money from the bank to create his first invention, which was the sowing machine. He worked very hard and finally succeeded after two months. On December 31, 2009, his first machine was put into use. It received much appreciation from local farmers. The inventions are simple and affordable compared with the imported ones. For this reason, he has sold thousands of agricultural machines across the country, mainly in Lam Dong Province and some other northern and central provinces. Especially, over the past five years, over 1,250 agricultural machines from Chuong’s workshop were exported to China, Malaysia, Thailand, Lao and Cambodia.

Besides producing machines, Chuong is also cultivating thousands of seedlings, which are applied using his inventions, at a 1,600-metre square greenhouse. The self-contained model, producing – applying – distributing, has brought about high economic efficiency. In 2015, his family’s most successful year, minus the cost of production, his family earned almost VND6 billion.

Similar to Chuong, hundreds of households in Lac Lam commune have also experimented with the greenhouse model. The model has given the local famers a stable source of income, much more than could be earned from growing vegetables and flowers. As a result, the lives of local people have become much better off each day.