Saravan family turns to pig farming to bring home the bacon
Waking up early and starting the hard work of tending to animals and crops each day is normal for Mr Phouy Chanthavong and his family and they depend on their labour to keep themselves above poverty.
Previously, many people in rural areas endured hardship but the government's policy to help them boost agricultural production is slowly bringing about better living standards. More rural folk are now enthusiastic about working hard to grow more crops and rear animals that they can sell to earn money.
Pig farming is bringing in more income for Mr Phouy and his family.
Pig farming was the salvation of Mr Phouy's family, who live in Khonsay village, Nakhonpheng district, Saravan province.
Mr Phouy said they used to grow rice for sale and their personal consumption and that was the mainstay of their earnings, but that was insufficient to enable them to thrive.
When the government actively encouraged villagers to rear animals and grow crops for sale, his family decided to rear pigs in 1987.
Initially, he didn't know the right way to go about it but began by buying 10 piglets which he raised and sold after three months for a good profit.
Then he bought 20 more piglets which he fattened up and sold and made more money. He decided to buy two female pigs which gave him 24 piglets in one year and then bought another eight female pigs so that he got more than 100 piglets in one year.
Realising he was onto a money spinner he decided to buy 15 more female pigs and one male.
Last year, he borrowed 50 million kip from the Agriculture Promotion Bank so that he could further expand his pig farm.
He said that buying and selling piglets earned him 300,000 kip per pig but the piglets he reared from his own female pig brought him in 400,000 kip per pig and further increased the family's prosperity.
Mr Phouy said his family still grows rice but only enough for them to eat so they don't have much to sell each year. But every day he gets up early to start work.
In one year he can sell 150 pigs three times. By selling 450 pigs during the year he earns more than 500 million kip which is sufficient to cover all the family expenses and provide everyone with higher living standards.
The family now has enough money to buy a car and they live in a solidly built house.
In the future they hope to rear even more pigs and Mr Phouy said it would be good if the government could provide low interest loans so that everyone in Khonsay village had enough capital to invest in agricultural production and animal husbandry.
He said he would be happy to teach his farming techniques to others in the community so that more people could boost their living standards just as his family has managed to do. They can also sell their pigs to neighbouring provinces.
Now Mr Phouy's family has become known as a model in the village. He says it is not too difficult to rise above poverty so long as you're not lazy.
He said that if everyone in the village worked as hard as his family they would find it easy to have better living standards and the community as a whole would be able to banish poverty.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 11 , 2017 )