Grow yam and earn billions

BA RIA – VUNG TAU Giving up his business, Mr. Nguyen Quoc Tuan, 52 years old, sought to buy ground potatoes to plant, earning a profit of more than 5 billion VND.

Under the hot sun at the end of April, Mr. Tuan and 5 drivers scooped up an 8-hectare yam garden in Toc Tien commune, Phu My town. After 8 months of sowing, the potatoes withered away and only scattered weeds in straight rows. To harvest, the excavator dug a trench more than one meter deep between the two beds. One person pulled a high-pressure hose up the side of the trench so that the sand collapsed, revealing two rows of tubers. Another person carried a potato and put it in a wooden basket. The harvesting stage is very careful because the crushed tubers are difficult to sell for a good price.

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Tuan next to a basket of freshly harvested mashed potatoes.  Photo: Truong Ha
Mr. Nguyen Quoc Tuan next to a basket of freshly harvested mashed potatoes. Photo: Truong Ha

Yam yam – in Oriental medicine called Hoai Son is a species of plant in the brown tuber family (Dioscoreaceae). They grow wild in the forest, sand dunes and are found a lot in Vietnam, South China, Thailand… In Ba Ria – Vung Tau, many years ago, people in Dat Do district, Xuyen Moc brought the seeds back. domesticated, cultivated in the garden for food or sold in the market.

The 0.5-1.6 m long ground potato tubers are used by people to process dozens of dishes. According to Oriental medicine, grated tubers are drugs used for people who have lost their appetite, have anorexia, asthma, and dry cough; help tonify the five organs, strengthen the tendons and bones, cure body weakness, back fatigue and treat some diseases in women.

Three years ago, when he was still trading in health products, yam was noticed by Mr. Tuan, because of its economic and medicinal value. Right when he visited a garden house in Xuyen Moc district, he spent 7 million VND to buy 1,000 seedlings to try planting on his family’s 300 m2 land.

At that time due to a lack of experience in taking care, Mr. Tuan made very little profit. However, after a period of observation, he found that this species has a very strong vitality and can grow well in sandy and red soil. He sought out many gardeners to learn and research more documents on the internet. At the beginning of last year, he put aside his business, invested all his capital and borrowed more to grow commercial yam.

“Spending billions of dong to invest in wild tubers makes many relatives skeptical. But I am very determined because I believe I can do it”, Mr. Tuan said and said, then the seedling supplier signed a contract to consume. unlimited quantity, with the price at the garden 13,000 VND per kg gives him more motivation.

The excavator dug a trench one meter deep between two beds to harvest yam in Mr. Tuan's garden.  Photo: Truong Ha
The excavator dug a trench one meter deep between two beds to harvest yam in Mr. Tuan’s garden. Photo: Truong Ha

A middle-aged man looking to rent 14 hectares of land in Phu My town, Chau Duc grows 25,000-30,000 trees per hectare, depending on location. The ground tubers stab vertically into the ground, so when planting, you must use an excavator and hoe to make the soil loose to a depth of about one meter, then go up to a bed of 30 cm high, use manure to fertilize and make a trellis for climbing plants. .

According to Mr. Tuan, during the growth process, the potato plant has very few pests and diseases. Growers only use mixed fertilizers, additionally, fertilize the base with a cycle of once every 7-10 days. A sprinkler irrigation system is installed on the beds to provide water for the plants in the dry season. Although planting a large area, when sowing and harvesting only about 10-15 people. During the care process, workers only need half of this amount.

Mr. Tuan’s potato garden is harvesting 50-60 tons per hectare. Excluding all costs, he estimates a profit of about 400 million VND per hectare. Seeing the effective model of yam cultivation, many farmers came to ask for cooperation. He was willing to transfer the process, committing to the cost of 14,000 VND per kg.

The man stood under the trench spraying water to separate the yam from the sand.  Photo: Truong Ha
The man stood under the trench spraying water to separate the yam from the sand. Photo: Truong Ha

“Next season, the planting area of ​​my family and households will increase to 30 hectares, produce organically for export and import for supermarket chains,” he said, adding that he would apply a few solutions. to try to increase potato production to 70 tons per hectare.

Mr. Tran Ngoc Toan, Chairman of the Phu My Town Farmers’ Association, assessed that yam is a short-term crop that is easy to care for but brings high profits. In the area, land in communes such as Toc Tien, Tan Hoa, Song Xoai… is suitable for growing yam.

“In the process of farming, people don’t need to use harmful chemicals,” said Toan, adding that the Town Farmers’ Union is mobilizing people to grow perennial crops that are ineffective due to climate change. , the precarious market switched to growing yam to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty.

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