War invalids contribute to Son La province’s agricultural, rural economic restructuring

(VOVWORLD) - Established in 1989, the 27/7 War Invalid Cooperative in Hat Lot town, Son La province, has 39 members, half of them wounded soldiers and war veterans from Mai Son district. The soldiers help each other in business and economic development.
War invalids contribute to Son La province’s agricultural, rural economic restructuring - ảnh 1

The 27/7 War Invalid Cooperative offers war veterans a venue to meet and earn a stable income. (Photo: VOV)

In its early days, the cooperative encouraged its members to switch production to more profitable crops and animals and to create production chains. Lately, its activities have been diversified, from farming and husbandry to ecotourism, veterinary services, and agricultural supplies and processing.

The most profitable changes have been fruit tree growing, aquaculture, and eco-tourism, which has brought in an average revenue of 429,000 USD a year and created 30 permanent jobs and 70 seasonal jobs paying 170 USD a month.

War invalids contribute to Son La province’s agricultural, rural economic restructuring - ảnh 2

The cooperative creates jobs for local residents with salary of 170 USD a month. (Photo: VOV)

Veteran Lo Van Suc, one of the founders, said, “Despite difficulties, our members have admonished one another to do business and diversify economic forms. As the cooperative’s leader for nearly 32 years, I feel proud of myself and the other members of the Mai Sơn cooperative, who now have permanent jobs, good health, and stable incomes. None are poor.”

Growing fruit trees is one of the cooperative’s most effective models. Maize fields were converted to growing passion fruit. The Nafoods Tay Bac Company supplies the seeds and buys all the products.

The average revenue from one hectare of passion fruit is 4,300 USD. The cooperative has 60 hectares of fruit trees grown under the VietGAP standard. Altogether 450 tons of fruit are produced each year, some for export.

Recognizing the tourism potential of Tien Phong lake in Mai Son district, since 2017 cooperative members have chipped in to develop eco-tourism in combination with aquaculture and build showrooms for local agricultural products. Tours of orchards and other eco-tourism sites have been set up.

War veteran Nguyen Anh Dang, a member of the cooperative, said, “I’m happy that, as a former soldier, I’ve been able to create jobs for children of policy beneficiaries and help them escape poverty.”

War veteran Do Hong Phuong, the Cooperative’s Director, said a trip for members to visit the old battlefields is organized every two or three years.

“On public holidays, especially War Invalids and Martyrs Day on July 27, we deliver gifts to war invalids to honor their contributions to national defense and encourage them in their work,” said Phuong.

The 27/7 War Invalid Cooperative has received many certificates of merit from Son La provincial authorities and the Vietnam Cooperative Union for its contributions to the rural economy.