“Is that ‘Vision’ officer coming to check on the ducks? They are growing fast,” Hà Thị Bun called out her backyard when she saw a familiar glimpse of a World Vision Việt Nam officer's orange shirt. He was making one of his routine check-up visits to Granny Bun’s ducklings.
Hà Thị Bun's family (Thường Xuân District, Thanh Hoá Province), one of the most difficult households in the area, was selected to participate in the Sustainably Develop Agribusiness Project by Mavin Group and World Vision Việt Nam in Thanh Hoá Province.
Constant worries when being over the hill
Most people hope to rest and enjoy life at her age, but Hà Thị Bun’s mind was always occupied thinking about how to care for her little granddaughter, who was born with congenital heart disease. Knowing that her nine-year-old grandchild had only her when her son and his wife divorced, Hà Thị Bun took on all kinds of odd jobs to take care of her family and cover the medical expenses for her granddaughter. Still, these small earnings were never stable, making the family’s future full of uncertainty.
If someone can sympathize with Hà Thị Bun’s situation, then that would be Vi Thị Tý and her husband (Thường Xuân District, Thanh Hoá Province). Although all of their three children had grown up and left home, Tý and her husband were still scrapping their living by whatever jobs they got to take care of their little granddaughter whose parents were away for work. Despite working dusk to dawn, they barely managed meager meals with plain rice and wild vegetables and had just enough to get some fish and meat once every few months. Due to low nutrient intake, their granddaughter Ánh Phương was diagnosed with severe malnutrition.
Starting a new journey for a better future
In early 2022, Hà Thị Bun, Vi Thị Tý and nearly 120 households in Thường Xuân district were selected to participate in the Sustainably Develop Agribusiness Project by Mavin Group and World Vision Việt Nam. This Project is a joint effort to improve livelihoods for households with difficult circumstances to ultimately bring better chances and living conditions to local children.
Joining the Project, every household received 100 ducklings, along with animal feed, veterinary medicine, and vaccines. In addition, the families were trained with experts in Mavin Group's “Farm to Table" closed loop farming model.
“Frankly, I never raised this breed before, nor these many ducks. We would only keep around ten local ducks and feed them whatever we had. When I heard that we would get 100 ducks, I was worried that we could not handle them. But then my family and neighbors encouraged me to take chances, and we also got support from Mavin’s experts with every step, so I was getting more confident. Seeing the ducks getting bigger, I am overjoyed. I hope this will be a new start for my family, and we will have money to treat my granddaughter’s condition. I wish to see her grow up healthy and finish her schooling,” Hà Thị Bun looked at the ducks with hopeful eyes.
Within the Sustainably Develop Agribusiness Project, Hà Thị Bun, Vi Thị Tý and other households were trained in brooding techniques, vaccinating, identifying abnormalities, and feeding ducks during different developmental stages. Thanks to this close monitoring, the ducks grew quickly and reached 3 kilograms each after 50 days.
The support did not stop there. When the ducks were ready for sales, representatives from Mavin Group and World Vision Việt Nam introduced traders to each household to buy their products. With this money, the first thing that came to Tý’s mind was to buy new clothes and milk for her granddaughter. She decided to keep a few ducks for meat and eggs to improve her family’s meals, especially her little girl’s nutrient intake.
To some, this may not be a significant sum of money, but it helped Granny Bun pay off her family’s long-overdue debts and cover her granddaughter’s medical bills. “After selling my ducks, the first thing I did was to buy a new desk for my grandchild. It was her dream for the longest time, but I couldn’t afford it until now. I will buy more ducklings to continue this model with the remaining money. Now I am much more confident because I have the techniques to do well, and I have experienced how effective it is. I believe that if I keep working hard and learning new things, my family’s future will be better day by day, " Hà Thị Bun said enthusiastically.
Mr. Hồ Văn Hùng, a representative of Thường Xuân's Project Management Committee asserted: “Thanks to the support of World Vision Việt Nam and Mavin Group, our farmers had the opportunity to be equipped with more knowledge and practical skills in husbandry. Only after one year of implementation in Thường Xuân, the Project has brought positive results and built people's confidence to invest in livestock. This has contributed to developing local economies and improving the community's well-being and children. For our side, we commit to providing continued support for this model in the coming years”.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am. This new way of duck farming by World Vision Việt Nam and Mavin Group is very suitable for families with limited means like ours. Now other families and I in the Project are ready to share our experiences with others so that the whole commune can get more income and take better care of their children” Tý smiled while showing the program officer her ducks.
“The Sustainably Develop Agribusiness Project is a testament to the commitment to pursue green agriculture through organic farming and strict quality control of World Vision Việt Nam and Mavin Group, local authorities, and the community. In the long run, this will help the community build a healthy reputation in duck raising among traders and buyers, contributing to the project's sustainability," said World Vision Việt Nam’s Livelihoods Manager Phạm Văn Vinh.
The Sustainably Develop Agribusiness Project is within the framework of the Livelihood Support Program for poor households – a support package worth USD 100,000 by Mavin Group and World Vision Việt Nam in 2022 - 2024. In 2022, the Project provided 12,000 ducklings, more than 40 tons of animal feed, veterinary medicine, and training on technology transfer to 120 disadvantaged households in Thường Xuân district, Thanh Hoá province.