Education and Economic Development

Black Pepper Project

Helping farmers provide a more stable income for their family

In the summer of 2015, PeaceTrees Vietnam partnered with several wholesale spice distributors to begin the Black Pepper Farming Project in Con and Tram villages. Both villages are located near the Laotian border in Huong Hoa District and are composed of rural, largely ethnic minority communities. The project benefits 60 farming families.

With the dedicated support of our project partners, PeaceTrees created opportunities for participating farming families to learn agricultural skills and techniques for pepper farming, receive startup materials to plant pepper, and reduce poverty in their households over the long term. Black pepper vines need to grow for three years before they provide their first substantial harvest. In order to support farming families while they waited for the black pepper vines to mature, we assisted farmers with the cultivation peanuts and other legumes which provide a faster harvest and also enrich the soil for the pepper vines. At the end of each harvest, our partners will buy the farmers' black pepper at market prices and provide them with a more stable income.

Ho Thi Lien's Story

Ho Thi Lien, 31, is a Van Kieu ethnic minority woman, living at Con village, Tan Lap commune, Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province. She is a single mom of two daughters, one in 2nd grade and one in kindergarten. Her husband left her when the youngest child was only few months old, which has made their life much more difficult.

Her family's primary income comes from cassava and livestock breeding. In 2015, Lien planted cassava on a 2,000 square meter area and earned approximately $136.00 USD. She also borrowed money from a local bank to buy two cows for breeding. Unfortunately, the income she gets from these sources is still not sufficient to support the family. Lien wanted to plant coffee or pepper but did not have enough money to buy the necessary supplies. Instead, she earned $4.5 U.S. dollars each day working in the local community.

When Lien learned about the pepper project funded by PeaceTrees Vietnam and our partners, she applied to to participate. Since joining the project, she says that she feels very happy and lucky to be receiving pepper seedlings, standing trees, and fertilizer to make a pepper farm to improve her household's finances. Lein is always enthusiastic about caring for the pepper farm, and is careful to use the planting technique and cultivation strategies that are recommended.

Lein hopes that in the future the pepper farm will bring stable income for her family allowing her children to go to school and receive sufficient nutrition.

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