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Agriculture teacher successfully follows his dream

Thousands of tudpoles and young amphibians are enjoying dipping up and down in ponds and prepared nets.

These animals are a successful outcome of breeding research by MrTiengkham Syavong, a teacher at Dongkhamxang Agriculture Technical School in Hadxaifong district, Vientiane.

Teacher Tiengkham has dedicated decades towards his occupation, developing his own small farming centre as a place to breed several species of animals and plants such as frogs, fishes and fruit trees to supply locally.

Young frogs waiting for food.

A resident in Mueangnoy village, Mr Tiengkham, 49 years old, has used his intelligence, abilities, experiences and research on farming to establish his farm on an area of about 2 rai (3,200 square metres) in Xiengda village in Xaysettha district.

He wanted to have his own farm since he was a teacher at the school in 1991. His dream came true when he was given a plot of land from the school. In 2009, he began to develop the area by his salary and established a small concrete tank to breed frogs.

He had three main objectives when establishing the farm. The first thing was for food production to supply his family, the second target was to distribute animal and plant species and the third purpose was to use it as a place for vocational training.

Mr Tiengkham has successfully achieved his objectives. Now, his farm is as a source to supply food for his family, produce tudpoles and young frogs, catfish and fruit tree species to other farmers. Each year at least four students from Dongkhamxang Agriculture Technical School come to learn there. Numbers of interested people also come to train.

The farm also has accommodation for interested trainers.

There are two courses for intensive training in husbandry and planting. Both take three months. The practice does not only specify the breeding of animals and plants, but also basic veterinary practice and disease control too. He provides free training for students from Dongkhamxang Agriculture Technical School, but he charges from general people. One subject costs 1.5 million kip per person.

Moreover, Mr Tiengkham also teaches trainees how to manage a farm responsibly. After the course, they can do it by themselves at home as it can be an occupation to generate sustainable income for them.

A lover of raising animals, Mr Tiengkham studied this subject within the country. He graduated from the Agriculture Faculty under the National University of Laos and works as a teacher at the school.

Although the farm is not a as grand like some farm businesses owned by investors, it is still a valuable place for him to research by trial and error.

MrTiengkham has put a lot of knowledge, from within the country and overseas, into practice there.

Sitting in polite dress on a wooden bench in a hut built on a pond, Mr Tiengkham told Vientiane Times recently that teachers must have certain skills and knowledge. It means teachers should not only be excellent with theory, but in practice too.

MrTiengkham said he conducted a breeding test by using two techniques, namely natural and stimulating methods. He is satisfied with the result of the natural procedures because breeders stay healthy after laying eggs. The stimulating technique is the opposite however, which puts breeders at risk of death.

His farm focuses on frog breeding. Currently, it has 100 breeders, an increase from 70 breeders last year. This year they can spawn more than 100,000 tadpoles.

He said demand was higher than supply because frogs began laying eggs from April to October but there are no small frogs in the remaining months.

The price of baby frogs depends on their size and age. A small frog 32 days after hatching will cost 400 kip, a 45 day old frog will sell for 600 kip, while young frogs with age of three months will be sold for 25,000 kip per kilogram nearby markets.

Some insights he shared from his experience included asking himself what animals wanted to eat before he made a decision to raise animals.

It was very important to consider this if we wanted to understand what to should feed them and how to do it correctly, he said.

 

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update August 21, 2017)

 

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