New rural development in San Thang, Lai Chau

(VOVworld) – Lai Chau province’s San Thang commune has fulfilled all 19 criteria of the national rural development program thanks to the local government’s flexible policies and the people’s willingness to contribute to the program. 

San Thang has 1500 households of 5 ethnic minorities who earn their living mainly from farming. Roads have been paved and new houses are mushrooming in San Thang commune today, thanks to the local implementation of the national program of new rural development.

With government support, the people of San Thang have expanded their farm lands, restructured their crops, and applied modern production technologies. This has resulted in higher productivity and more comfortable living conditions in San Thang. Thao Van Hoan and his family in San Thang 2 commune have shifted to growing corn on their paddy fields. With 3 harvests per year, Hoan can feed his farm animals, and make use of dried corn to grow mushrooms. His family has become better-off and has even created jobs for several local laborers.
Hoan told VOV: "We can harvest up to several tons of maize and mushrooms every year, which is much more productive than growing rice. Local infrastructure has been upgraded, making it easier for us to travel and increase our production. Our living conditions have improve remarkably."

New rural development in San Thang, Lai Chau - ảnh 1
Tea growing in Lai Chau

Le Van Tinh of San Thang 2 hamlet shifted from growing rice to flowers with loans from the Bank for Social Policies. In two years his family has become the main supplier of flowers to Lai Chau, Hanoi, and other provinces, earning tens of thousands of USD a year and generating many jobs for local workers. Tinh said:“We faced many difficulties with the weather in the beginning. We now grow mainly roses and will grow other varieties for Tet such as orchids and lilies. Our net profit from growing flowers is 5,000 USD a year per hectare.”

As part of its economic restructuring plan, San Thang commune has invested in growing high-yield rice varieties and tea and breeding cattle and poultry. It has made the most of available resources for infrastructure development. The commune has persuaded the people to be involved in building 16km of roads and developing goods production areas toward reducing the local poverty rate to 2%.
8 classrooms, 19 functional rooms, and a culture house have been built, according to Truong Thanh Nam, Vice Chairman of San Thang commune’s People’s Committee: “People’s living conditions have improved significantly since 2010. Our rice growing area increased from 75 hectares in 2010 to 238 hectares at present. We also have 200 hectares for tea growing, which has contributed considerably to poverty reduction in the area. We will focus more on planning production areas after meeting all new rural development criteria.”

Life in San Thang is changing for the better and the commune is now targeting education, healthcare facilities, and promoting people’s cultural practices.