(CPV) - The Vietnam Challenge Fund and Quang Tri One-member Trading Company co-hosted a workshop in Hue on May 31st 2012, on developing micro-organic fertilizer for cassava production.
The Vietnam Challenge Fund is part of the ‘Making Markets Work Better for the Poor (Phase 2)’ project, managed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Asian Development Bank, with financial support from the Department for International Development (UK).
This highly innovative project has developed a slow-release micro-organic fertilizer, derived from the brown skin (solid waste) of cassava starch processing. It has also trained poor, less-educated Paco and Van Kieu farmers in Quang Tri province to use this product to fertilize their cassava for better yield and quality.
The project has been implemented by a State-owned enterprise -- Quang Tri One-member Trading Company Limited -- with funding assistance from the Vietnam Challenge Fund. The total investment capital of the project was just over US$423,000, of which the Vietnam Challenge Fund provided US$167,400.
“The project successfully demonstrates a new concept of the Viet Nam Challenge Fund,” said Andrew Head, ADB Deputy Country Director for Viet Nam. “Beyond income improvement for poor cassava farmers, it also brings hope and an innovative way out of poverty to remaining poor farmers, especially poor ethnic minority households in the province.”
Initial estimates suggest that the project has benefitted over 1,800 local households, through improved income from their cassava cultivation. A further 350 workers have also benefited, through seasonal jobs with improved income in farming, transport and processing.
“It is too early to give a precise figure on the impact of this project,” said Mr Buddhika Samarasinghe of M4P2. “But we conducted a random survey of 37 participating households, and found that they had earned about VND 2.5 billion from farming 60 hectares of cassava. That was an increase of VND 21 million per hectare, and the average yield achieved by the sample was an impressive 22.7 tons per hectare.”
The project also has a positive environmental impact, in terms of less solid waste pollution by the cassava processing company, less deforestation as a result of the ability to continue farming on the same land, and more fertile reclaimed land./.