Finance gives farmers new opportunities

Posted on September 26, 2016

Ms Le in her field

Ms Nguyen Thi Le comes from Soc Trang province – one of the poorest in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Ms Le has always farmed rice but her yield was so low that she and her family could barely cover food and school expenses. With salt water seeping inland and damaging her crops, Ms Le was forced to consider pulling her children out of school as she couldn’t cover their tuition.

Like so many others, all Ms Le needed was access to capital. Through our microfinancing scheme, Ms Le borrowed AUD$400 and learned how to start a small business and manage her finances. Ms Le began planting nang, a grass-like, aquatic plant that is a popular vegetable in the Mekong Delta, and selling it to local traders.

During harvest, Ms Le and her husband rise at 1am to collect the young shoots, trim them and pack them in 100kg bundles for the traders to collect at 4am. Despite the hard work, Ms Le smiles and jokes about her accomplishments and looks towards the future.

“Growing nang is hard work,” said Ms Le. "Even harder than growing rice. But thanks to the loan, we can afford school fees and buy new shoes for the kids. For the first time we’re not living day to day and we are able to cover our monthly loan repayments. Next year, I’ll be applying for an even larger loan.”

Want to help more people like Ms Le? Support our Community Development Fund today!