Crop growing, animal breeding help families rise above poverty

By Meuangkham Noradeth
February 12, 2012

Chicken farming is one way that rural people can earn a living.

Everyone living in poverty wants to improve their living conditions. One family in Oudomsin village of Sing district, Luang Namtha province, has risen out of poverty by growing crops and keeping livestgock.

Mr Kuaysing’s family shows villagers in Oudomsin village that it is possible to improve living conditions and escape poverty.

Five years ago, Mr Kuaysing’s family lived in poverty. Without land for farming or animal rearing, their income was barely enough to live, but his family kept working to improve their living standards.

Mr Kuaysing said that thanks to assistance from district officials he now has a pond for breeding fish, which earns him 5 million kip per year, four chicken farms that bring in 1.3 billion kip per year, and a rubber tree plantation, which brings in another 60 million kip per year.

This year, he will start two more chicken farms, which will earn about 2.7 billion kip per year. He also expects to earn 80 million kip more from his rubber trees and 10 million more kip from selling fish.

His family’s average annual income is now about 558 m illion kip per person, which allows them to have a much better life.

Families like Mr Kuaysing’s are helping the district move closer to declaring basic poverty alleviation by 2015, said district Deputy Governor Mr Khamphay Sorchantha this week.

District officials have divided the community into three zones, encouraging different forms of economic activity in each zone.

Mr Khamphay said that on hillsides they have been encouraging villagers to rear cattle and plant rubber trees. On lower land they encourage growing rice and raising poultry and cattle, and on flatland they are promoting restaurant and guesthouse services, along with rice farming.

Mr Khamphay explained that the living conditions of villagers in his community continue to change for the better. Now they have permanent houses and vehicles to transport their crops for sale.

He also said the district is planning to build irrigation systems to expand agricultural potential.

Currently the community can plant only during the rainy season. Irrigation would open up an area of 4,900 hectares for rice cultivation during the dry season, he said.

Of the district’s 90 villages, 89 have roads that are accessible all year round, so now it is easy for people to transport their crops for sale in the rainy season.

“We will continue to encourage larger-scale agricultural production because this is the best way to improve living conditions,” said Mr Khamphay. The province hopes to achieve basic poverty alleviation by 2015.

Sing district is home to 13,000 families, of which 1,400 currently live in poverty.

Average annual per capita income in the district is now more than 11.9 million kip and could exceed 14 million kip by 2015.

Luang Namtha province comprises five districts containing 354 villages. It is home to 28,908 families, of which 9,156 live in poverty, according to the latest report from the National Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication.

The Lao government defines poverty as not having enough food, lacking adequate clothing, not having permanent housing and lacking access to health, education and transportation services.


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