Saturday, October 29, 2016

Why do farming families work so hard but they still remain poor? ~ Guest blog by CEF's Ms Thuy

A struggling poor father rearing three children on his own, as his wife has died.

The first reason for farmer’s poverty is natural disasters. In Quang Nam and Thai Binh where CEF works, farmers are highly vulnerable to drought, typhoons and floods every year. The frequency and severity of these disasters has become more intense as a consequence of global warming.

Also the quality of some of the farming land near industrial areas is damaged by polluted water from factories. Some of the factories give compensation to the farmers, but it is often less compensation than what the farmers have lost due to the pollution.

Another important reason for their ongoing poverty is their limited education. Most of them live in remote areas where farming is very hard and they use the old traditional techniques that their parents used. They often don’t know how to find out about new farming techniques and don’t have access to new agricultural technology.

Some also borrow money from the bank to grow new varieties of fruit or raise livestock. However, many of them lose their crops or their livestock die due to illnesses caused by lack of knowledge on how to take care for them.

Another reason is the number of family dependents is higher than the available workers in the family. It’s sad that poor farming families are often poorer because they have too many children.

Some farming families also face huge financial challenges because their main laborers have some serious disease, become disabled, or have died from some illness or from an accident.

It doesn’t mean that all farmers are poor. Nowadays, some farmers become rich and export their products to foreign countries thanks to information on modern farming techniques and advanced technology, being able to update their knowledge and apply new technologies.

Finally, education is a very important to help people get out of poverty.

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