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19/06/2024 - 09:20

Efficiency from converting crops and livestock

In recent years, with many solutions to promote the restructuring of crops and livestock, many farmers in Long An province have applied scientific and technical advances to production, bringing high income to the family, contributing to building a comprehensive and sustainable agricultural development.

High economic efficiency 

In 2000, after completing his military service, Mr. Tran Van De (born 1975, living in Nhon Thuan hamlet, Nhon Thanh Trung commune, Tan An city) returned to help his family grow rice on a 0.5 hectare plot of land and rented land to grow watermelons during Tet.

In 2007, he started raising dairy cows to increase his family's income. By 2017, he converted the entire rice area to growing dragon fruit.

Mr. Tran Van De's family (Nhon Thanh Trung commune, Tan An city) has a high and stable income from raising dairy cows

Growing dragon fruit brought stable and higher profits than growing rice. However, since the Covid-19 epidemic, dragon fruit prices have dropped sharply and productivity is no longer as good as before, so Mr. De decided to destroy the entire dragon fruit garden and focus on raising dairy cows since the end of 2022.

With an investment capital of about 250 million VND, he bought more cows and upgraded the barn, and used the dragon fruit growing area to grow grass to feed the cows.

Currently, his dairy barn has 25 cows. According to Mr. De, each year, farmers will collect milk for 10 months and give cows 2 months off to rest and give birth.

On average, a dairy cow will give 1.8-2.6 tons of milk/year, the selling price ranges from 11,000-16,500 VND/kg. Minus expenses, Mr. De earns nearly 500 million VND/year, much higher than growing rice and dragon fruit before. In addition, he can sell dairy cows that are almost at the end of their milk production age for meat at a value of about 70% of the original purchase price.

“In the early days of raising dairy cows, I had to go learn from many places, read books, research on the Internet, etc to gain knowledge. Although raising dairy cows is not as strenuous as growing rice or dragon fruit, it requires constant care, with no days off. Dairy cows are very sensitive to the smell of strangers, so asking or hiring someone else to take care of them is not feasible, we can only do it ourselves" - Mr. De shared.

According to Mr. De, dairy cows are susceptible to diarrhea, so farmers must have knowledge and experience to handle it promptly. Barns need to be kept dry, clean and periodically disinfected. In addition, farmers need to fully vaccinate cows to prevent dangerous infectious diseases such as pasteurellosis, foot-and-mouth disease, etc.

The Provincial Farmers' Association always promotes farmers to convert crop structure, often goes to the facility to visit conversion models.

According to the Provincial Farmers' Association, currently farmers in the province are making full use of the production land to convert to livestock. Besides common breeds such as pigs, cows, poultry, etc, farmers also boldly develops new breeds such as deer, ferrets, raccoons, etc.

Flexibility in conversion

According to Vice Chairman of the Provincial Farmers' Union - Tran Quoc Quan, converting crop structure helps farmers increase income on the same cultivated area, especially limiting the fallow of agricultural land; reorganize agricultural production in some regions, creating favorable conditions for sustainable agricultural development, serving as a basis for farmers to change production practices, contributing to the province's Agriculture sector in achieving the targets of the crop restructuring plan.

Born into a family of 4 sisters, his father died early, his mother was old and weak, Mr. Dao Van Thanh (born 1960, living in Binh Hoa hamlet, Binh Trinh Dong commune, Tan Tru district) is the youngest son, and soon had to shoulder the burden of family business. Mr. Thanh said, with 1 hectare of farmland, besides growing rice, in the 1990s, he experimented growing watermelon during Tet.

In addition, he also raises ducks. At one time, he raised nearly 900 ducks. "In the early stages, it was still difficult. I had to take care of my mother's medical treatment. The most valuable things in the house were sold. Profits from farming, animal husbandry, etc were collected for treatment. After the avian flu epidemic in 2003, I also stopped raising ducks because there were more and more industrially raised ducks and the competition was too great" - Mr. Thanh confided.

Mr. Dao Van Thanh (Binh Trinh Dong commune, Tan Tru district) boldly invested in an automatic, remote-controlled irrigation system to grow grapefruit

In the following years, Mr. Thanh only grew rice and watermelon during Tet, but the profits were not as high as before. In 2018, Mr. Thanh started thinking about growing green-skinned grapefruit, a plant that no one in the locality had dared to try. In 2020, he boldly invested 300 million VND to buy seeds, grow beds, build an irrigation system, etc for 100 grapefruit trees on an area of ​​200m2.

Mr. Thanh shared: "It was my first time growing grapefruit so I encountered many difficulties. This is a new crop so the locality has not yet organized training to participate. I can only learn from the media, the Internet and the experiences of other farmers."

Switching from growing rice to grapefruit helped Mr. Dao Van Thanh's family income (Binh Trinh Dong commune, Tan Tru district) increase 5 times.

Thanks to perseverance and determination, up to now, Mr. Thanh's family's first 100 grapefruit trees have been harvested. This success motivated him to expand the grapefruit growing area. Currently, Mr. Thanh has converted the entire former rice growing area to green-skinned grapefruit with 450 trees. This year, his entire grapefruit garden will be harvested.

“It is expected that the profit from my green-skinned grapefruit garden will reach more than 200 million VND/year, depending on the market price, about 5 times higher than growing rice. In addition, the care is also easier, helping me have more time with my family" - Mr. Thanh added.

It is known that Mr. Thanh is also the Chairman of the local Smart Farming Club, regularly sharing knowledge and experience with everyone. According to Mr. Thanh, when growing grapefruit, it is necessary to prevent and eliminate all kinds of pests and diseases, especially leafminer and hanshu; prevent the tree from bearing too much fruit as it will weaken the tree.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in 2023, the total area converted from rice land to annual crops is 3,222.2 hectares, mainly watermelon with 1,126 hectares (average profit of 20-50 million VND/hectare/crop), sesame with 668ha (average profit 10-15 million VND/hectare/crop), etc. The area converted from rice land to perennial crops in 2023 is 2,238.4 hectares, mainly jackfruit with 186.1 hectares, lemon with 368.7 hectares, durian with 119.4 hectares, etc. These models all have profits from 20-150 million VND/hectare/year.

The transformation of the province's crop and livestock structure is on the right track and bringing positive results. This is a premise for farmers to continue investing in agricultural development in the direction of commodity production, contributing to increasing income and improving living standards./.

Changing crop structure brings efficiency

In recent years, due to the negative impacts of climate change, many farmers in the province have actively changed their crop structure, applied scientific and technical advances to production.

By Khanh Duy - Translated by Q. Thien