Dao ethnic people, who are local people in Ha Giang Province, earn more income by growing Vietnam cinnamon trees. By experiences, they figured out that the soil and climate conditions in their village were suitable for this specific trees. Therefore, they chose this treen as a key crop to release themselves from poverty. People usually call cinnamon as “green gold”. They are helping local people increase income and greening bare land and hills.
Following the road to the center of Tien Yen village, on both sides of the road, along the immense mountain slopes, there were green cinnamon hills, expanded straight to the skyline. Walking under the dense canopy of cinnamon, giving off a sweet fragrance, I could clearly feel the new vitality of the land that had been changing day by day thanks to the cinnamon tree, which had been taking root and growing steadily here.
Vietnam cinnamon has another name as Vietnam cassia, which has been growing in Tien Yen for such a long time. Dao people’s life have been connecting to cinnamon tree because these trees provide them with more income. By trading cinnamon products, many people have built spacious and well-equipped houses in the village and paid for their children’s education. From a low-income area of Bang Lang commune, this village is thriving nowadays.
Mr. Tai, Head of Tien Yen village, said: “In the past, local people here mainly planted acacia and bodhi tree. Also, there were only a few households who spontaneously planted Vietnam cinnamon trees. Realizing that cinnamon grew well in the land and also had high economic value, local people learned from each other’s experiences to grow more cinnamon trees and expand the area larger and larger.
In 2015, the government supported 70% of the seed price to encourage the Dao people to grow cinnamon. Therefore, cinnamon trees drastically covered all the bare hills in the village. There were high demand for Vietnam cinnamon in the market, therefore, many cinnamon growers became rich”.
As a village cadre, Mr. Tai is always the leading person to grow cinnamon trees in his village. He went to Lao Cai province to buy seeds for local growers. Not only that, he also propagated, mobilized and guided people to plant and care for cinnamon trees in accordance with the technical process to achieve high productivity and quality.
He also converted an inefficient land area to grow one hectare of cinnamon. Because of the characteristic of a long-growing tree, after 2-3 years, he trimmed cinnamon branches and leaves and sold at the price of 1,000 VND/kg. With nearly 3,000 cinnamon trees, Mr. Tai hoped to collect a decent amount of money in the next few years.
Mr. Chiem, a local grower, shared: “My family is one of the pioneers in growing Vietnam cinnamon. Hard to believe that about ten years ago, my family was poor and lack of food. Last crop, we earned more than VND 200 million by selling cinnamon products“.
“With such amount of money, my family built a house, bought some more buffaloes to raise, and paid tuition fees for children. After 10 years of growth, cinnamon trees can be exploited. With a current area of 1.5 hectares of cinnamon, I will take good care of it so that I can step by step get rich in my own land”, he said.
As a poor and underprivileged village of Bang Lang commune, Tien Yen has 123 households with over 500 people. In which, the Dao ethnic people account for more than 90% of the total. With high selling price, cinnamon has been affirming its strength in economic development and poverty reduction for ethnic minority areas.