Hua Van Phu now generates three times more income for his family thanks to switching to growing canna, a starchy grain taken from underground stems, with support from ChildFund.
Phu now has more time and money to spend with his children, taking them to school everyday, feeding them and playing with them.
"I found that the land was perfect for growing canna, which generates significantly more income than corn," Phu says.
Phu and his family live in Ngoc Son village of Trung Khanh district, one of the poorest and most mountainous areas in Vietnam. Out of the 66 households in the village, 59 grow corn and most families survive on subsistence farming.
Canna was introduced to the area as part of a livelihoods project funded by ChildFund supporters and the New Zealand Government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Phu's family previously grew corn on their .74 acre plot, which is located between mountains, but their harvest of two crops of corn per year was not enough to provide for them.
Through ChildFund, Phu and 12 other farmers were given the support and training, including technical workshops, they needed to start planting canna, along with seeds and fertilizers. Phu had high hopes that canna would increase his family's income and drive positive economic growth in the community and he wasn't disappointed.
Phu's first harvest of canna roots was a success, thriving in the climate and soil of Quang Vinh commune and showing resistance to diseases while requiring minimal maintenance. The 2.4 tons harvested by Phu's family was sold yielding a profit three times their previous annual income from corn farming after deducting planting costs.
Starting with just 2.4 hectares from 13 households in 2020, the canna model has since expanded to 30 hectares in 2022, positively impacting the household incomes of participants, promoting youth economic development, and paving the way for a brighter future for the entire community.
Trung Khanh's journey toward self-reliance
In the last 14 years since ChildFund started working alongside communities in Trung Khanh district, in the Cao Bang province in Vietnam, achievements in improving child wellbeing include:
- 1,529 families supported through agriculture and livestock projects to improve livelihoods
- 8 schools supported with infrastructure and facilities upgrades
- 3 new health centers established to improve access to quality healthcare
These achievements are just the beginning and Trung Khanh is now in a position to continue its self-reliance journey without us.
The community hopes to further strengthen local child protection systems and to maintain and promote the projects implemented over the past 14 years. With new tools and improved systems in play, the community is now well equipped to thrive on.
Read more about ChildFund's work in Vietnam here.
Read more about Trung Khanh's self-reliance journey here.