Crops help remote family reach better living standards
Agricultural production and animal husbandry are playing an important part in helping villagers in Naxaiyai village, Saravan reach better living standards while also helping Mr Nit Keomany's family become a model family in the community.
Naxaiyai village is located about 20km from Saravan district's urban centre and is home to 188 people in 111 households and has a total farming production area of 160 hectares.
Mr Nit Keomany explains how to grow sweetcorn in his garden.
Mr Ork-ey Keoxomphou, head of Naxaiyai village, said that land in the community is suitable for work in agricultural production and that this was an imp ortant factor helping villagers produce a variety of crops to sell, including rice and sweetcorn.
“Village officials are supporting villagers to work in agricultural production and animal husbandry because it will help the economy of the community to expand and everybody will have better living standards because of it,” said Mr Ork-ey.
He added that Mr Nit is part of one family in the community that grows sweetcorn for sale and that it has helped them to earn money each year eventually enabling the family to move out of extreme poverty.
Mr Nit said that he used to grow rice for many years but that it wasn't enough to support his family so he tested growing sweetcorn and that the crop has yielded both good quality and quantity.
In 2014 he finally decided to grow sweetcorn instead of rice on his fields. During the year he earned more than five million kip so the following year he decided to grow even more leading to earnings of more than 15 million kip. Last year, Mr Nit earned more than 27 million kip.
This year he is growing one hectare of sweetcorn and expects his family will be able to earn more than 40 million kip.
Each year he starts growing his sweetcorn in December after harvesting his rainy season rice and says that it is not difficult to grow the corn because there are not many pests to destroy and that the crop requires minimal care such as clearing weeds, adding fertilizer, and giving water.
He said that after each harvest he brings his sweetcorn for sale in the district market or that sometimes merchants will buy directly from his farm so it's quite an easy job because it's not always necessary to transport his goods for sale which ultimately means he has more time to do other work.
Initially Mr Nit's family had difficulties growing the sweetcorn because irrigating required transportation of water from a nearby stream.
Now the Agriculture and Forestry Office is encouraging villagers to grow commercial crops and are supporting water pumps for families which Mr Nit says contributes to his family having more enthusiasm to work harder which, in the long run, earns more money.
He said that in the future his family will increase its area where they are currently growing sweetcorn and would also like to add chilies, a variety of vegetables and maybe even animal husbandry to the list of production for personal consumption and that any surplus would be sold.
After working hard for many years his family now has a car to use for transporting crops for sale and he also has enough money to support his children in their studies.
He said that it is not too difficult for everyone to improve their living standards if they have patience and are willing to work hard, the same as his family.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 18, 2017 )