Overcoming difficulties, standing side by side with the people

On the more than 20km long road connecting Production Team 2 of Defense-Economic Unit 4 and local households is the Nam Mo River in Ky Son district. This river is normally so peaceful, but roars when flood season comes, bringing with it flash floods that sweep away everything on its way.

Shan Tuyet tea model of Defense-Economic Unit 4 helps border people develop their economy.

Lieutenant Colonel Bui Van Hai at the Staff and Planning Department of the unit recalled that “in 2016, prolonged heavy rain occurred in Muong Tip commune. Flash flood from the Nam Mo River rushed in, forcing all 75 households in Xop Phe village to evacuate. All materials and houses were swept away by the flood. Upon receiving the news, the unit immediately sent forces to provide food and medicines, assist the people in rebuilding their houses and stabilizing their life.”

“It took a month to overcome the consequences of the natural disaster due to rocky roads that hindered the travel of vehicles,” said Col. Hai.

Acknowledging that harsh weather condition, complicated developments of disasters, and locals’ backward customs and practices were among causes that seriously affected local socio-economic development, the unit’s leaders tried to find a suitable solution to promote the highest efficiency of economic models, helping local people escape poverty and develop sustainable economy.

Colonel Luong Hai Kien, Deputy Political Commissar of Defense-Economic Unit 4, said that the highest efficiency of economic models was achieved when they were close to the locality’s reality and attracted the participation of a large number of local people. Therefore, the unit’s Party Committee and Chain-of-Command directed the unit’s affiliated agencies and units to actualize the “3 hold-ons, 4 togethers” motto of holding on to the village, holding on to the people, holding on to the duties; eating together, living together, working together, and speaking the same language together.

Visiting the Indian Boer goat farming model of Production Team 4

Giving fishing rod and guiding how to fish

In a conversation, Major Nguyen Duc Mau, deputy head of Production Team 4, said that in late 2021, the current over 4 hectare hill of lush lemongrass of the unit was just empty land covered in weed. “This is the result of the economic model of growing and extracting Java lemongrass essential oil of Production Team 4,” Major Mau proudly said.

The officer said that his team gave recommendations on growing lemongrass to the unit’s leaders after studying local terrains, geology, and climate. Getting approval, the team had cleared and turned over 4 hectares of arid land into lush lemongrass growing land. Right in the first lemongrass harvest in 2022, the team extracted 100 liters of lemongrass essential oil, creating a branded product, earning more than VND 100 million.

The team later invited local people to visit the economic model and then provided them with seeds, techniques and bought raw products from them to extract and expand the scale of the economic model. “This not only helps the unit stabilize the supply but also helps local people have their products bought,” said Maj. Mau. He added that the team is going to hand over the lemongrass extraction process and formula to local people so that they can do it themselves.

A view of Production Team 4’s model of raising sows and super lean pigs

Other efficient economic models of Production Team 4 include raising sows, super lean pigs and Indian Boer goats.

Other teams of the unit have so far implemented dozens of production development models, helping improve the locals’ living conditions. Attentively, the average rate of poor households in Ky Son - Que Phong defense-economic area has decreased by 2.4% per year.

In the coming time, Defense-Economic Unit 4 will continue to effectively implement its projects in the assigned defense-economic area; do surveys and realize the project on giving support to socio-economic development, and model in which troops accompany ethnic minorities; promote current economic models; strengthen connectivity with local villages and volunteer connections to ensure strong development of Ky Son - Que Phong defense-economic area.

Translated by Mai Huong