CHF Assists Remote, Rural Vietnam Villages

Vietnam continues to grow as a Canadian tourist destination. But behind the big city appeal are found hidden treasures that most travellers will never see. We see them everyday on the ground in Vietnam as part of CHF’s work in the remote rural communities of Quy Chau.

Despite significant reductions in levels of rural poverty throughout Vietnam over the past decade or so, farmers in the isolated, remote Quy Chau district of northern Vietnam remain largely outside governmental poverty reduction strategies and remain poor.

With input from the community and participation by the villagers themselves, CHF’s Community Development in Quy Chau District project is helping people in the area achieve sustainable livelihoods and long-term self-sufficiency.  

The recent arrival of the first herd of cattle in three communes located in central Quy Chau District is a big deal for these people who are finally emerging from generations of poverty. One farmer, Mr. Duc, is seen here with one of the two Red Sindhi bulls he received to crossbreed with his own small herd to produce superior meat-producing livestock.

Breeding, proper vaccinations and fodder for the animals can easily double the incomes of farmers in these isolated villages. CHF has trained 22 local animal health specialists to provide vaccinations and demonstrate proper livestock care. As well, farmer families in nine villages have started to grow a variety of grasses for animal fodder.

Of course, the people of Quy Chau District need just as much attention as their animals.  More than half the people can’t produce enough rice to feed themselves. Women walk up to two hours to get water, much of which is contaminated and can lead to deadly water-borne diseases.

But things are changing. CHF has constructed irrigation channels to paddy fields and more than 100 households now have access to clean water. Two clean water systems now service two villages and five more villages are well on the way.

By initially providing fertilizer and rice seeds to 61 families, crops have almost doubled – from 3 tonnes/hectare to 5 tonnes/hectare. The demand for seeds has increased this spring, with more families coming onboard. Some families are also beginning to grow groundnuts to feed themselves in the usually hungry spring seasons or to sell the surplus as a cash crop.

For thousands of villagers living in Quy Chau, CHF’s involvement means clean water, improved farming and livestock, and sources of income — for now and for years to come.