Vietnam needs to replace unsafe and unproductive farming practices which pollute the environment and damage people’s health. Hydroponics may be part of the solution.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in a nutrient-rich water-based environment. It has many incredible benefits compared to traditional farming such as conserving water, producing higher yields, making the best use of space and location, saving time and labor, plus fewer pests and diseases.
YWAM Mercy Vietnam has developed a hydroponics model in one rapidly urbanizing Hoai Duc community where cultivation land will very soon become part of the city of Hanoi. This model will show how hydroponics can bring higher incomes for suburban farmers while reducing harm caused by the overuse of insecticides and herbicides.
Working with local leaders, a location survey was done by our Australian consultant, Mr. David Whiffin, to select a suitable place with good air flow. Mr. Whiffin also gave them a presentation on the benefits of hydroponics. After the site visits, Mrs. Sam was selected to serve as the model farmer because she is a hard-worker with practical farming experience and farming land suitable for hosting the model. She displayed that she is ready to learn new things, and even willing to share her skill and know-how with others.
Constructing the shade-house which protects the plants from excessive sun
The project team worked together with Mrs. Sam, planning, designing, purchasing materials and constructing the model. We built a 35 square-meter shade-house with six planting rows and one seedling bed. Mr. Whiffin provided the design to the local builders so they could choose the best local materials for durability.
After seven days working at the model site, the shade-house was covered with netting and the hydroponics model was underway. Eight-hundred pots in six rows were filled with seedlings and seeds. Various kinds of seeds were planted in the seedling area for transplanting later. Mr. Whiffin instructed Mrs. Sam how to irrigate and fertilize effectively. And Mrs. Sam learned how to prepare the fertilizer liquid and maintain the system for optimal feeding of the plants, as well as how to mix the coconut coir and sand and put the mixture into the pots for proper planting. Mrs. Sam took careful notes on all she was taught.
On-site training for Mrs. Sam and local people
I was born to be a farmer but I still need to learn how to farm, especially new farming techniques for better living conditions. I will be sharing these new farming methods with other local farmers.