Innovation is the key for farmers relying on agriculture to make a living. SSCD and YWAM Mercy have been trying to encourage farmers to think in a different way about their economic activities and to invest in crops and livestock that bring higher financial returns.
Mr. Doan is a great example of innovative thinking. His wife is a schoolteacher and is away from home all day so, Mr. Doan needs to be home to care for their two young children. He needed a way to increase the family income while still caring for his children. After doing some research and visiting a family who were raising pheasants, he gave this a try. Encouraged by reasonable success with this, he then heard of the potential in deer farming. He faced barriers in getting enough capital to invest in this model and to get the necessary skills to be successful.
Mr. Doan put forward his business plan to SSCD after attending our training. We saw that he was very innovative in his thinking and so decided to support the development of this business as a model for others to follow. We are working with him further on his marketing plan and the development of additional products from both deer and pheasant. He is now not only raising his own deer and pheasants but is also selling young deer to neighbouring farmers to raise.
Another advanced farming model is goat raising. The two goat farms of Mr. Thu and Mr. Thinh were supported by SSCD to complete their business models, market orientation and caring techniques. We have provided a loan of 50 million VND (US$2180) for them to invest in developing these models. They also had the idea of forming a group to register as a goat raising association so that they can have better market opportunities to ensure the best prices for their products. In addition to goat products, they also provide catering and cooking services, serving the needs of people in their location.
Besides training and consulting for these models, SSCD regularly brings professional consultants in livestock to visit and provide counseling support at households. This helps to minimize risks related to disease and animal care techniques.
These models have the potential to multiply so that other farmers in the area can benefit from the expertise these families have gained. And as they develop other products, the opportunities for expansion are endless.