Barren Land Goes Green

11:12:33 AM | 25/3/2019

17 hectares of KM140 cassava planted for testing in the 2018 crop year had an unexpected outcome, with yield of nearly 40 tons/hectare, higher than the local KM94 type (only 28 tons / hectare), for a profit of nearly VND20 million/hectare. This economic result has made many households in communes of An Cu and Van Giao extremely excited.

New vitality from KM140 cassava

Cassava plants are not unfamiliar to farmers in Tinh Bien district as more than 10 years ago, they were developed by the locality to supply materials for Luong An Tra wheat starch factory - Tri Ton district to operate. But the product of this factory had no consuming market, leading to the uncertainty of cassava in mountainous area, and, farmers lost their cultivation orientation and had no confidence in cassava. Still the same cassava cultivated on those dry plots in communes of An Cu and Van Giao had strange changes. In early 2018, Sao Mai Group sponsored "Transformation of crops and livestock" project, in which pouring capital and consuming cassava products are the purposes of the whole program. In phase I, Sao Mai funded nearly non-refundable VND500,000 for 9 households participating in the application of planting over 17 hectares. After 9 months of cultivation, the large sample field of KM140 resulted in successful business.

“I cultivated cassava on one hectare and Sao Mai funded seedlings, fertilizers, medicines and care techniques. KM140 is highly productive and not picky. The price of Sao Mai purchasing in the field is VND135,000/quintal (75kg) higher than the market price of VND5,000, so the profit is very good,” Mr. Le Dung Tien, Vinh Thuong hamlet, An Cu commune shared.

Mr. Huynh Ngoc Son, a farmer in An Cu commune, said that the new cassava type had a well-developed root system, strong and tall stems. At the age of one month, KM140 has a height of 20 cm - 30 cm, an average of 3-4 branches/stem, so the harvest yield is also better. Thanks to Sao Mai Group’s sponsorship, this season has high productivity and profit. Farmers are very happy.

The earned profit also means that Sao Mai gave poor local households belief in KM140 project, in the research project of "Transforming plants and livestock" in Bay Nui area. Just a model of testing KM140 on dry land, Sao Mai has inspired production for thousands of households by helping them change their farming thinking, especially, building a close link when Sao Mai consumes products.

In the second phase of the 2019 season, KM140 model has attracted more farmers with an increase of over 200 hectares across 9 communes and towns of Tinh Bien district: An Cu, Van Giao, Tan Loi, An Phu, Nha Bang, Thoi Son, An Hao, An Nong and Tinh Bien. In the next 2 years, Sao Mai will increase cassava growing area in two mountainous districts of Tinh Bien and Tri Ton to 5,000 hectares. If the average is 2 hectare/household, then there will be about 2,500 households to change their life and this will attract thousands of other workers who have jobs from cassava linkage model. The initial success shows that "Transforming crops and livestock" project on poor land sponsored by Sao Mai Group has a good signal. Thus, the strategy of creating a rich material area for the aquatic food processing factory (Sao Mai Super Feed) is having a very good consumption market with steady progress.

Productive and advocative projects

Farmers in Tinh Bien district are rushing to start on the next KM140 crop. This has partly proved a correct way of expressing the "vision" of the economic group that always thinks about the benefits of the community. Sao Mai leaders shared: "Pouring capital and consuming products are Sao Mai’s method. Close connection between input and output is a great success. Sao Mai guarantees the market, while farmers focus on producing well for high yielding cassava.”

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Quan - Chairman of Tinh Bien District People's Committee said, the fact that Sao Mai Group has implemented many important projects in the locality, changed the thinking of transforming production structure, creating links according to value chain. It is a great success that only Sao Mai can do. The Group knows how to create new nurturing and greening motivations through moral and profound humanizing projects. All of them are perfectly suited to the soil and cultural conditions of local people.

Minh Quan