(VAN) Ramie is gradually covering many rural fields in Tuyen Quang, sparking the hope of enriching ethnic minorities’ living conditions.
Although deployment has just begun, ramie shows superior economic efficiency compared to other crops. Photo: Dao Thanh.
The profits are vivid
Vinh Son village, Tan Thanh commune, Son Duong district these days is busy with harvesting and transporting ramie from the fields to Phu Son Agro-Forestry Cooperative, and then from there, convoys of trucks transport them to the processing factory of An Phuoc Group – Viramie. Experts believe that ramie is quite suitable for the land here, hence the high yield and quality compared to many rural areas of neighboring mountainous provinces.
After the cooperation program Tuyen Quang Agricultural Extension Center cooperated with An Phuoc Agriculture Joint Stock Company (An Phuoc Group – Viramie) in July 2021, and the first ramie areas were planted on the land of Vinh Son. From the original 5 ha, ramie grown for fiber in Tuyen Quang has had an acreage of more than 60 ha, and the province’s production economic efficiency is doubled compared to common crops.
The successful implementation of ramie growing models has contributed to changing people’s awareness and traditional production practices. From planting corn and gaining low income due to the fluctuation of selling prices and the situation of “good harvest, bad prices”, they switched to joint production under contracts and specific plans, creating a concentrated production area for raw materials to supply the An Phuoc Agriculture Joint Stock Company.
Mr. Khong Van Kiem in Nga Phu village (Tan Thanh commune) has over 2,100 m2 of ramie. Last year his family collected five crops and gained a profit of VND 60 million/year. He said that what makes this model so great was that farmers only need to plant and take care of ramie with the right techniques, and the rest of the process would be taken care of by the cooperative. “In the past, farming was the story of ‘watching the sky and looking at the clouds’, now we are just ‘watching the starry night’ until the day of harvest.”
Ramie is opening a new direction in the agricultural economic development of farmers in Tuyen Quang. Photo: Dao Thanh.
Mr. Le Anh Tuan, Director of Tuyen Quang Agricultural Extension Center, said that the ramie growing models were good both in terms of fiber product quality and yield. After a period of implementation, ramie had already given a higher income than conventional seed corn in the 2nd year, which was VND 32.6 million/ha. And in the following years the gained income was even higher. On the other hand, growing ramie did not require replanting, weeding or spraying, so it did not affect the environment.
A new path on an old land
After nearly a year of getting attached to the land of Tuyen Quang, ramie has now given farmers consecutive successful harvests. From that result, this tree species is opening a new direction in the old fields in Tuyen Quang’s highland villages. The whole province has had 191 households in Son Duong, Yen Son, Chiem Hoa and Na Hang districts participating in planting ramie up to the present date.
In order to create favorable conditions for households, in addition to product underwriting, businesses and local authorities in Tuyen Quang also support 80% of the required capital to build factories, one hydraulic press and four fiber extraction press for members of Phu Son Agricultural Cooperative. An Phuoc Agriculture Joint Stock Company provides seed for farmers and offers delayed payment until harvest. The affiliated company currently purchases dry raw ramie fiber at a price of VND 40,000/kg.
The area of ramie in Tuyen Quang province has increased to more than 60 ha. Photo: Dao Thanh.
Ms. Pham Thi Chinh in Vinh Tien village said that people in the highlands had planted ramie to make cakes for decades. But she and the locals never thought about planting it for fiber to improve their economic state. Receiving support from local authorities and businesses, she excitedly participated in the production chain. With more than 3,500 m2 of ramie, she earns a profit of more than 80 million VND/year, more than double that of growing corn in the same area.
The outstanding advantage of growing ramie is that its root can be preserved and harvested in ten years. Growers do not have to spend too much effort to take care of, and the underwriting and consumption process meet no obstacle, so farmers here can grow ramie with great enthusiasm.
Authors: Dao Thanh – Van Thuong
Translated by Samuel Pham