Thursday, April 28, 2016

Living on the Edge ~ Guest blog by Graeme, CEF's Manager in Australia who is visiting Vietnam

Last weekend we visited families who live in the mountainous part of Quang Nam province in central Vietnam. Talking with several mothers and fathers we got a glimpse of how a good harvest one year helps them get a little ahead and then a poor one the next soon puts them  back into debt, a state that most of our families are very familiar with. One mother explained how the harvest last year had produced 350 kilos of rice. She got to keep 100kg after paying for the rent of the land to grow the rice on, fertiliser and wages at harvest time.

This year the harvest was poor. Low rainfall meant there was not enough water in the irrigation ditches for her to divert into the paddy field.  She produced 100kg and so didn’t have any surplus to pay for her costs. She had to keep the 100kg to feed her family and chalked up a debt to be repaid from next year’s harvest, if  the rains are good enough. You’d never have known the stress she was under, so cheerful were she and her young daughter.

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