In Quan Ba District of Northern Vietnam, the Tay and Nung ethnic minorities used to grow just one crop of rice per year. But depending on seasonal rains, the crop could be unreliable and many poor households in this village experienced food shortages between harvests.
To ensure a more consistent crop and food supply, the People’s Committee of Quan Ba District received funding from Irish Aid to construct an irrigation system to channel water to the terraced hills of the village of Pa Lang.
The Committee contracted a company to construct the irrigation channel, and the Pa Lang villagers were closely involved in the work. Supervising the project, they ensured that work was completed to a satisfactory level, and that steel pipes were used at steep sections to avoid spillages which could cause erosion or landslides in the future.
Villagers in Pa Lang can now grow additional crops such as maize, potato, kohlrabi and other vegetables, as well as their staple rice. This has increased the variety in their diets and ensured a regular supply of nutritious food year round. In addition to this, farmers have been able to produce some surplus stock which they can sell at markets, giving them a valuable source of income.