As Richard Reed stars in the TV show ‘Be Your Own Boss’, iDE UK in partnership with Innocent Drinks are promoting entrepreneurship in rural Vietnamese farmers.
As the TV show ‘Be Your Own Boss’ encourages UK entrepreneurs to start up their own businesses, iDE UK shows how rural Vietnamese farmers are also setting up enterprises, but with many more obstacles and risks. Innocent Drinks, along with its founder Richard Reed, obviously understand the importance of entrepreneurship and have kindly helped us on a project focused on helping rural rice farmers in Vietnam using Fertiliser Deep Placement technologies.
Poor farmers in the Hiep Duc district of Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, produce too little rice at a very high cost. Inefficient use of fertiliser is largely to blame – water flowing through the rice terraces washes away fertiliser applied to surface soil. In a region where a third of families live below the poverty line and 90% of households depend on rice farming for their livelihoods, a solution to this problem could transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.
Fertiliser Deep Placement (FDP) technology ensures that fertiliser remains in the soil and does not go to waste. It is also incredibly simple – fertiliser is compressed into small pellets that can be placed by hand deep into the soil between rice plants. Over the past seven years FDP has proved successful in other provinces. Where fertiliser was applied before, crop yields have typically increased by 20-25% even when using 35% less of the main fertiliser. In some cases where previously no fertilisers were applied at all, crop yields doubled.
iDE, in partnership with the innocent foundation, is promoting FDP technology among local farmers in Hiep Duc while working with manufacturers in the region to produce fertiliser pellets using simple machines. Our goal is to generate demand for FDP among farmers and create a sustainable, local private sector network capable of producing and supplying the pellets, eventually creating a lasting market that will operate without outside assistance.
By the end of the three year project, we hope that 4,000 rice farming families will adopt the FDP method, achieving an increase in yield equivalent to £35 per household each year. So far, 89 families have adopted FDP, and initial tests have shown a 20% increase in crop yields as a result of FDP. Through their businesses, farmers are increasing their crops, making a profit and moving out of poverty.
Maybe the UK based entrepreneurs could learn a few things from these rural farmers in Vietnam..!