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|Starting in 2002 by breeding 2,000 hens, Nguyễn Thị Thêu, a woman from northern Vĩnh Phúc Province, now earns about VNĐ5 billion (US$224,000) a year and creates job for dozens of workers. – Photo danviet.vn|
The farm, located on a hill separated from residential areas, at present has 100,000 chickens.
At the farm gate, is a well-designed disinfection system. The gatekeeper, a woman, said the owner was voted as an outstanding national farmer this year and was preparing to go to Hà Nội to receive the award.
The gatekeeper used disinfectant to spray any visitor and his/her vehicle before letting him/her to step into the farm. In the livestock sector, disease prevention is now seen as better than cure.
“Disinfection is part of the regulations. Anyone who wants to visit must go through the disinfection room,” said the gatekeeper.
Thêu, born in Bình Định Commune, Yên Lạc District, said that Kim Long Commune, where her farm was located, was the hub of the provincial poultry industry.
According to her, in 1998, her family faced many difficulties caused by the small scale of operations.
Thêu and her husband left their homeland in Bình Định Commune and went to Kim Long Commune to rent a land plot for farming.
At first, her family rented a 10ha hill for breeding poultry. But soon she was able to buy the whole piece of land.
“In the initial period, capital was limited and my family only bred 2,000 hens," she said.
Over the years, the farm has increased its stock to 50,000 hens, she said.
The farm’s scale was developing well until authorities in Vĩnh Phúc Province decided to build Tam Dương Industrial Park and her farm’s land was needed for the project.
Urgently, she had to seek land to re-establish the farm. After negotiations with Tam Dương District authorities, she rented an 8ha-hill, about 1km from the old farm.
“My family again began excavating a site on the hill to build a new farm. At first, we built four breeding areas designed to hold 10,000 hens each.”
The hill was separate from the residential area, so outbreaks of poultry disease were kept at bay.
Each year, the breeding area was expanded and now, the farm has a total of 22 blocks, holding a total of 50,000 hens.
Thêu said her family built the poultry breeding farm following a German model. Everything from the cooling system, fan, to the water filtration was in accordance with German standards.
She said that many poultry breeders didn’t see the importance of clean feed and water and sanitation facilities. “That is wrong. Good food and clean water will affect the quality of chickens or any other animal.”
At the farm, water for breeding chickens passes through a German standard filter system. As a result, chickens are rarely affected by disease. “We save a lot from medicine costs - and poultry avoid the risk of disease.”
Thêu has experienced difficult days. Before 2002, the family lost money by breeding poultry and growing fruit trees ineffectively but then decided to buy 2,000 baby yellow-breasted chickens.
No raising techniques were supplied, so she had to read poultry books for more information. “I was lucky to learn how to grow chickens fast and healthy,” she said “But a H5N1 flu pandemic killed the whole herd in 2004.
All her efforts ended up buried in lime pits. Her spirit collapsed but then her husband motivated her to carry on.
“The most importance is to know the techniques and strict measures on disease prevention,” Thêu’s husband said.
A bit sad at remembering the past, her face brightened up when she thought of the present, showing me a newly-built house and a five-seat car, all bought from chicken breeding.
To expand the business, in 2014 her family set up a poultry and aquaculture co-operative.
According to Thêu, after 19 years, she decided to leave her homeland and set up business on new land in the province’s Kim Long Commune at a cost of VNĐ50 billion.
The new farm provided about 50,000 chickens and 10,000 eggs per month. It also creates jobs to 66 labourers with wages from VNĐ4 million to VNĐ6 million, and four agricultural engineers on salaries of VNĐ10-12 million a month.
Not only has Thêu enriched her own family, she is now selling baby chickens to local households on a ‘pay later’ basis.
As a result, many families have escaped from poverty and are on the way to enriching their lives.
Additionally, Thêu’s family is enthusiastic about taking part in community activities in the district, such as assisting poor and underprivileged families, creating a study encouragement fund for children, donating up tens of million đồng.
In recent years, the farm has become a familiar ddress not only for farmers in Tam Dương District, but also in northern provinces of Lào Cai, Phú Thọ, Tuyên Quang.
After failure and success, Thêu draw from her experiences. “When we do a job, we must put prestige on the top.”
Sharing her future plans, she said her family planned to expand domestic-breed chickens, such as the Đông Tảo from Hưng Yên Province, Móng from Hà Nam Province and Yên Thế from Bắc Giang Province to provide baby-chicken sources for farmers.
“Providing good baby chicken at affordable price helps farmers get their business grow,” she said simply.