Changes in the lives of Khmer people in Vinh Chau town, Soc Trang

The spiritual and material aspects of life of Khmer people in the seaside town of Vinh Chau, Soc Trang province is changing day by day…

Vinh Chau is a seaside town with a large portion of its population being ethnic minorities (nearly 53% are Khmer). The provincial authorities have focused on taking care of the livelihoods of the people here. Many programs and projects have also been implemented, contributing to the prosperity of the coastal countryside.

Vinh Tan commune (Vinh Chau town) has a large population of Khmer people.
Vinh Tan commune (Vinh Chau town) has a large population of Khmer people.

Vinh Chau is changing

Before the shift to building new-style rural areas, Vinh Chau was one of the poorest towns in the province. There are 8 out of 9 communes in extremely disadvantaged situations; per capita income in rural areas is only 18.71 million VND/year; poor households account for nearly 25%; the infrastructure system for production and people's daily lives still limited...

However, with the total efforts, determination, solidarity, and creativity of the whole political system and especially the consensus of the people, the national target program on building new-style rural areas in Vinh Chau has achieved many outstanding achievements. Up to now, Vinh Chau town has 6/6 communes meeting new-style rural area standards.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Liem, Chairman of the People's Committee of Vinh Chau said that: “Over the past 10 years of implementing the program, Vinh Chau has mobilized over 1,976 billion VND, together with integrated capital from other programs, projects, and contributions of the people.”

Therefore, rural communes here have had many positive changes. The economic structure is shifted, less relying on agriculture and rapidly increasing in the industrial sector, including construction, trade, and services.

Agricultural production is shifting strongly towards sustainability. Agricultural goods are market-oriented and are produced in a green, clean, and safe manner. More jobs are created in order to increase people’s income.

As a coastal area, Vinh Chau has well-known high-tech shrimp farming models, such as Tan Nam shrimp farm, Hoa Nghia seafood farming cooperative, Toan Thang seafood farming cooperative, and Viet Uc high-quality shrimp production in Vinh Hai commune. These seafood farms are in cooperation with businesses for product consumption.

But the most famous agricultural product in the town is Vinh Chau purple onion. Farmers in Vinh Chau produce about 5,000 ha of purple onions, roughly 120.000 tonnes. In 2020, Vinh Chau purple onion was granted a certificate of geographical indication registration and was recognized as a 3-star OCOP product.

Other notable products of the town are Vinh Chau artemia, white radish, longan, garlic, and sugar-apple.

Better livelihoods for Khmer people

Vinh Tan commune (Vinh Chau town) has a large population of Khmer ethnic (62%). In 2011, when they implemented the new-style rural area program, the proportion of poor households were over 50%. Now, its appearance has changed remarkably, for example, houses are sturdier and newly built, roads are made from concrete, and irrigation canal system is regularly dredged, creating favorable conditions for people to raise shrimp, artemia, etc.

Mrs. Thach Thi Tha from Tra Von A hamlet, Vinh Tan commune, could not hide her joy when witnessing the changes in her homeland. She shared: “When the country gained independence, Vinh Tan was like an isolated land, with no roads, no clean water, no electricity. We had to travel around mainly by canoe, boat... But now things are turning for the better. We now have concrete roads, and motorbikes to get around easily.

The happiness of Mr. Tang Kim Sai while harvesting his purple onion farm.
The happiness of Mr. Tang Kim Sai while harvesting his purple onion farm.

While harvesting his purple onions, Mr. Tang Kim Sai in Au Tho hamlet, Vinh Hai commune, excitedly said: “Before, my family struggled a lot. However, after we received support from the government to build a house under Program 134, my family has been able to work with peace of mind.

In 2014, my family started raising a sind cow and rented some land to grow crops, purple onions, and grass. To date, my herd has grown to 20 cows. The family’s financial situation is getting better.”

According to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Liem, Chairman of the People's Committee of Vinh Chau, many essential socio-economic infrastructure projects were rebuilt and renewed. The material and spiritual life of people is increasingly improved. At the end of 2021, per capita income in rural areas increased 2.8 times compared to 2011 (reaching 52.38 million VND/person/year), poor households decreased to 1.3%, near-poor households decreased to 9.71%; workers with regular jobs reached nearly 95%; the percentage of households with electricity for daily life is over 99%...

Recently, the Prime Minister recognized Vinh Chau town has completed all the criteria of the new-style rural area.

Along with the timely and synchronous support and investment of the Party and State and the sense of self-improvement, the material and spiritual life of the Khmer people living in Vinh Chau has been changing day by day.

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