Nhung recalls the constant struggle of trying to raise a family-of-six on a small farm with an unreliable water source.
“We could grow only one rice crop per year on half of the land while the other half was used to grow soy bean or maize as we did not have any water,” she says. “Everything depends much on the conditions in the area.”
Nhung says it was a constant struggle to provide enough money to send her two oldest children to school.
“I do not remember a time we had any money left over and each time my oldest baby got sick the whole family had to ask for help from friends and relatives,” she says.
Things got better when they participated in farming models supported by ChildFund and the local government.
“Households in the villages now combine all the land we have in one area and by doing that we have more resources,” she says. “ChildFund supported us by building four concrete canals which provide enough water for the whole fields to grow two crops per year. Not only our family but many other families are still benefiting from these canals.”
Over the years, Nhung and her husband have expanded their farm and used savings to invest in a harvesting business that services local farms.
“We make use of the rice and corn powder from our harvesting services to raise chickens and pigs in the backyard,” Nhung says. “They provide not only food for my children but also extra income for the surrounding families. I am so happy that we saw the opportunities and decided to invest in this business.”
A keen learner, Nhung also studied modern farming techniques to improve her land’s productivity.
“We used to use a lot of fertiliser in our farming but now, but we have used more efficient techniques to cut down the amount of fertiliser we use. Also, working with agriculture staff taught us about new seeds which have proved successful.”