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Organic vegetables help remote family to move out of poverty

Slash and burn cultivation was not the right way to improve the living standards of Mr Bounyort Keosavat's family so they has to replace their crops with organic vegetables to sell to help them have better lives.

Mr Bounyort, who lives in Long-Or village, Xiengngeun district, Luang Prabang province, worked in slash and burn cultivation for many years but it brought insufficient funds and he lived in poor conditions.

In 2004, the Food and Agriculture Organisation offered support for people growing crops so his family decided to stop slash and burn cultivation and instead grow vegetables for sale using chemical fertiliser.

Growing and selling organic vegetables helps improve Mr Bounyort's family's living standards.

Then in 2011, his family stopped using chemical fertiliser, instead swapping to organic fertiliser to grow their vegetables.

Provincial officials also cooperated with district and village officials to give advice about growing techniques and ways to produce organic fertiliser and pesticide.

He said his family were enthusiastic about growing organic vegetables because officials from the Agriculture and Forestry Department of the province helped to build a market in the community so villagers could sell their variety of crops two days a week.

This has led to competition between villagers to produce a variety of crops to sell because it can help them earn money for their families so Long-Or villagers can improve their living standards step by step.

Mr Bounyort's family has a 70 square metre area to grow vegetables, including parsley, chervil, chilli, Chinese cabbage and eggplant.

He said his family were not worried about the market for selling crops and were eager to keep producing so they had a weekly income.

On average, Mr Bounyort's family earns more than 30 million kip per year through vegetable sales which helps them have better living conditions and move out from poverty.

Initially, it was quite difficult for Mr Bounyort's family to grow organic vegetables because they were inexperienced but assistance and advice from the Agriculture and Forestry Department showed them crucial techniques and information.

Growing organic vegetables for sale can help improve income, does not require much capital and is a popular food choice for many people, so Mr Bounyort's family will seize the opportunity and continue to grow vegetables and earn money. Now all people in his family are happy.

He said growing organic vegetables was not difficult but people needed to learn growing techniques and how to produce organic fertiliser and pesticide.

He added that he was able to give advice to anyone interested now he had some experience.

Mr Bounyort wakes up early each morning to take care of his vegetables so he has a happy live and has good health because he does not use chemical fertiliser.

He said organic vegetables were a healthy food that many people liked to eat and growing them was a good way for gardeners to earn money.

Mr Bounyort's family has become a model. If everyone in Long-Or village follows his lead and has better living standards it will help the community move closer to eradicating poverty.

 

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update August 19 , 2017 )


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