Social News 31/7
New Quang Nam road to reduce drowning deaths, travel time
To reduce travelling time as well as accidents while crossing two local rivers, Quảng Nam Province will build a road connecting National Highway No 1A with Tam Tiến Commune in Núi Thành District.
An aqueduct on Tam Kỳ River, Núi Thành District, Quảng Nam Province. The province plans to build a proper bridge to connect rural communes in the district.
Đặng Bá Dự, head of the central province’s Project Management Board, said the 5.3km road, including three bridges spanning the Tam Kỳ and Trường Giang rivers, will cost VNĐ330 billion (US$14.6 million).
He said the project, which has just got approval from local authorities, has already allocated VNĐ77 billion, a third of the total investment, to build the 360m Máng Bridge, a crucial link between Tam Tiến and Tam Xuân communes.
Dự said many people have fallen into the river and more than 20 local residents have drowned while crossing the narrow 0.8m wide, 200m aqueduct on the Tam Ky River.
The new road, set to open in 2020, will also help boost tourism links between Đà Nẵng, Hội An, the coastal Tam Thanh Commune and Tam Hải Island in Núi Thành District.
Last year, the province opened the four-lane Giao Thủy Bridge linking the mountainous districts of Nông Sơn and Quế Sơn, as well as Duy Xuyên District in Quảng Nam and Đà Nẵng City.
The province also plans to build a railway flyover at its busiest crossroad on National Highway No 1A in Núi Thành District later this year.
Quảng Nam has of late approved several key traffic routes connecting strategic economic zones, sea and air ports in the province, as well as the provinces of Quảng Ngãi and Kon Tum.
17 crew rescued from disabled fishing boat
17 crew members of a fishing boat that encountered bad weather and technical difficulties off the coast of Nghệ An Province were rescued Saturday and taken to Cửa Lò port.
The input shaft of the boat’s engine broke during stormy weather when the vessel was about 65 nautical miles southeast of Hòn Ngư Island.
The boat was also running out of food and fresh water and crew members were in a panic, according to the Việt Nam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre, which carried out the rescue mission.
Vietnam-Laos friendship exchange held in UK
A Vietnam-Laos friendship exchange was held in the UK on July 28 by the Embassies of Vietnam and Laos in the host country.
Speaking at the event, Vietnam’s Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Van Thao said that the development of bilateral relations over the past 55 years has manifested the two countries’ special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.
Each stride made by the two nations today has had positive contributions of each side, thus helping tighten the bilateral partnership.
Lao Ambassador Sayakane Sisouvong recalled milestones in the Vietnam-Laos relations in the past more than seven decades since the Communist Party of Indochina was founded.
At the programme, the two embassies’ staff took part in sports games and art performances, and enjoyed the two countries’ traditional cuisine.
Bookcase project seeks to inspire reading
Some 2,000 bookcases will be delivered this year to classrooms in rural and mountainous areas in the central province of Thanh Hóa to help improve the reading habits of students.
The books and bookcases are part of the Lam Sơn Bookcase (Tủ sách Lam Sơn) project.
Phạm Thế Khanh, president of the Việt Nam Library Association, said that in Thanh Hóa Province, the budget to provide additional books at thousands of public libraries and schools remains limited.
Until 2020, the project aims to build 9,952 bookcases valued at VNĐ24.9 billion (US$1.08 million) for 724 primary schools. The books are expected to inspire reading habits.
The Lam Sơn bookcase project was kicked off in October 2016 with donations by people from Thanh Hóa Province and other individuals and organizations nationwide.
The project has so far presented 403 bookcases to schools in Tĩnh Gia, Hoằng Hóa, Đông Sơn districts of Thanh Hóa Province.
The booming turmeric economy of Gio An Commune
The turmeric growing area of Gio An Commune in the central province of Quảng Trị is a vast area with lush green plants and rich red-brown soil.
Located in the commune’s An Hướng Village, the approximately 100ha area is in fact a rubber plantation that has been leased to local residents to grow short-day plants - those requiring long hours of darkness - while waiting for the rubber trees they planted to grow.
Yams, cassavas, peppers and a variety of short-day plants have been cultivated here. Turmeric, a plant used as a dye and spice, is among the most profitable that have helped improve the income of local households.
Farmer Lê Thị Thanh Nhàn, 51, has some 2ha of land. She started growing turmeric at the beginning of last year, and by January this year she was able to harvest an average of 100 tonnes of fresh turmeric. Selling them at VNĐ1 million (US$44) per tonne, Nhàn earned VNĐ100 million ($44,000) for a year’s work.
“If I wait until the turmeric season has passed and no one else is selling it, I can sell it at one and a half times the price,” she said. “But as an annual plant, turmeric is at its best quality when harvested one year after the seeds are cultivated.”
The best time to grow turmeric is between March and April, Nhàn said. It is easily planted, does not require great care, and sprouts after some three months if the weather is favourable, she added.
“It can grow in any type of weather and does not require regular watering. Only natural rains and occasional grass removals are enough,” Nhàn said. “Growing turmeric is definitely less laborious than growing rubber, which required us getting up at 1-2am to tap rubber latex.”
Apart from selling fresh turmeric, Gio An residents also produce and sell turmeric powder. Farmer Lâm Thị Hoa, a skilled turmeric powder processor in the commune, said it takes 10kg of fresh turmeric to produce one kilogram of turmeric powder.
At a price of VNĐ450-500,000 ($20-22) per kilogram of powder, selling turmeric powder is more profitable than selling the fresh plant, she said.
Producing turmeric powder requires a lot of work, according to Hoa. Fresh turmeric has to be washed and peeled carefully after being harvested, then put in a crusher, then in a centrifugal machine to squeeze water out.
A manual sedimentation technique will then be used to separate oil from the turmeric residue, which will result in original turmeric starch. This wet starch will then be dried with infrared lamps and ultraviolet ray to kill viruses and bacteria, then dried again with specialised dryers.
The drying process finishes ends when the moisture content of the starch reaches 1-2 per cent. The powder is then either packaged or vacuum packed, depending on customers’ preferences.
“This meticulous drying process will reduce the strong turmeric smell that might be unpleasant to some people. The smell will still linger on the powder, but very lightly,” Hoa said.
The residents’ effort to grow turmeric has been supported by local authorities. Lê Phước Hiếu, vice chairman of the Gio An People’s Committee, said that turmeric had been prioritised as the commune’s new direction for economic development.
“Some 200 households were growing the plant in a total of some 65ha of land in 2016, and we are planning to increase it to 95ha by the end of this year,” he said. “Last year the farmers earned an average of VNĐ9-12 billion ($396,000-528,000) from selling fresh turmeric and turmeric powder, 60 per cent of which is profit,” Hiếu added.
“Planning short-day plants, especially turmeric, has helped reduce the commune’s poverty rate to below 5 per cent in recent years,” he said.
Since the majority of turmeric growers process fresh turmeric manually by themselves, the authorities have encouraged five households to join in establishing a 150sq.m manufacturing unit with professional plant processing equipment, according to Hiếu.
“We are trying to have a stable amount of output and developing a brand for local agricultural producing and processing, specialising in not only turmeric but also pepper, cassava and other short-day plants,” he said.
“It is hard to persuade all farmers to join in at this stage because it costs money to get the necessary certificates and verification, but this is something we have to do if we want our products to go far and reach big cities,” he said.
Son La, Lao provinces seek to enhance education cooperation
Vietnam’s northwestern province of Son La and northern provinces of Laos held a conference in Son La on July 30 to discuss measures to intensify their cooperation in personnel training.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee of Son La Pham Van Thuy said that the province is currently hosting more than 1,000 Lao students from northern Lao provinces.
Son La has offered support to the students, including assistance in dormitory with study equipment and good living conditions, he said, adding that the Lao students have quickly integrated into local society and show good performances.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Lao localities pointed out some difficulties facing Lao students, including those in choosing majors and Vietnamese language.
Chomsilath Thanapan, Vice Governor of Bokeo province, proposed Son La’s training establishments specify their training programmes and inform the Lao side through its Department of Foreign Affairs, while enhancing the quality of Vietnamese language teaching for Laos students.
Hoang Tien Duc, Director of the Son La Department of Education and Training, said that Son La will continue building its training plans with priority on areas of Lao northern localities’ demand.
At the conference, the two sides also drew lessons in the field and put forth solutions to enhance the effectiveness of their cooperation in the future.
Within the event, a ceremony was held to present Friendship Orders of the Lao President to the People’s Committee, the Military Command, and the Public Security Department of Son La, in recognistion of their great contributions to developing the special solidarity and friendship between Son La and northern Lao localities.
Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association of Hanoi holds fourth congress
The Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association of Hanoi held its fourth congress in Hanoi on July 30 to discuss plans for 2017-2022.
The association will continue implementing activities to celebrate Vietnam-Laos friendship and solidarity year, the 55th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties and 40 years since signing the Vietnam-Laos Treaty on Amity and Cooperation.
It will also strengthen coordination with the Lao Embassy in Vietnam to explore the culture and customs of Laos.
The congress also elected a new executive board of 35 members, with Secretary of Hanoi Youth Union Nguyen Van Thang re-elected as Chairman of the association for 2017-2022.
Locals in Dien Bien’s border commune receive free health care
More than 50 poor people in the northern province of Dien Bien’s border commune of Thanh Yen received free health check-ups, treatment and oriental medicine via a programme on July 30.
The programme was launched by the Steering Committee for humanitarian health service campaign of Dien Bien, the Red Cross Society of Dien Bien and the Oriental Medicine Association of Dien Bien Phu city.
The majority of beneficiaries had problems related to bone and joint, digestion and cardiovascular issues.
Doctor Vuong Van Hoc from Thanh Yen commune, Dien Bien district said this is part of a larger programme to care for locals in Dien Bien province in 2017.
About 15 percent of people in Thanh Yen commune, which borders Laos, are poor, and are mostly ethnics of the Thai and Mong minorities, with poor access to healthcare.
Vietnam attends ASEAN’s Family Day in France
Representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in France attended the ASEAN Family day in Croissy-sur-Seine city, held by embassies of the ASEAN member states on July 29.
The event featured entertainment and sport activities, with officials, staff and families of the embassies and French friends attending.
Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Ngoc Son said that Vietnam made significant contributions to organising the event, with standout cultural cuisines introduced at the event, he noted.
Vietnamese spring rolls, steamed glutinous rice with minced meat rolls and fried shrimp were enjoyed by international friends, he added.
At the opening ceremony, Cambodian Ambassador to France Chem Widhya said that the festival aimed to promote friendship among ASEAN nations and coordination among foreign affair representatives in the European country.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Crossy-sur-Seine Jean Roger Davin expressed his delight to welcome guests from ASEAN.
Cyclists pedal to raise fund for AO victims
More than 200 cyclists raced in the first Da Nang Cycling Open-Asanzo Cup in the central city of Da Nang to raise funds for victims of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin on July 30.
The event, co-organised by the Da Nang Association of AO Victims and Asanzo Group, aims to mark the 56th anniversary of AO/dioxin Victims Day (August 10) and the 70th anniversary of War Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27).
Nguyen Thi Hien, Chairwoman of the Da Nang Association of AO Victims, said the race aims to call for support of individuals and organisations for AO victims while encouraging people to do physical exercise to improve their health.
Da Nang has more than 5,000 AO victims and 1,400 children affected by the toxic chemical, she said.
Since its inception, the association has mobilised nearly 100 billion VND (4.4 million USD) to build houses, present wheelchairs and provide business capital to AO victims, according to Hien.
On this occasion, the orgnisation board presented 15 gifts, each worth 1 million VND (44 USD), to Vietnamese Heroic Mothers and AO victims in Da Nang, and mobilsied 1 billion VND (44,000 USD) in support of AO victims.
Phương wins Junior Becamex Cup
Nguyễn Văn Phương grabbed his second title in 10 days by winning the boys’ single event at the International Tennis Federation Junior Becamex Cup in Bình Dương Province yesterday.
No 5 seed Phương of the hosts beat his Chinese rival No 7 seed Zeng Zicheng 6-1, 6-1 in the final.
Last week, he won the ITF Junior Circuit-HCM City trophy beating Yuan Zihao of China.
In the boys’ doubles final of the Becamex Cup, Phương and his partner Huỳnh Minh Thịnh finished second, losing 6-3, 3-6, 8-10 to No 1 pair Lo Yi Jui of Chinese Taipei and Lu Pengyiu of China.
The girls’ singles title went to Riho Yuasa of Japan, who came from behind to beat Rania Azziz of France 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Chinese Taipei’s Huang Hsuan and Jhang Ke Syuan defeated Nanami Saito and Riho Yuasa of Japan 7-6 (5), 6-1 to win the girls’ doubles title.
High-tech applied to growing vegetables on Truong Sa Islands
Dang Ngoc Vu, who used to be a soldier on the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago and is now a college student, knows the difficulties faced by Truong Sa residents.
So when he returned to the mainland to continue his studies, he immediately began a project called "Vegetable gardens for islands" to improve the lives of islanders and soldiers stationed there.
Dang Ngoc Vu was stationed on Truong Sa Archipelago in 2013. During that time the islands often faced imminent combat and entire areas, including vegetable gardens, had to be leveled.
In their shelter-pits, the soldiers lived on canned food, bean sprouts, and young leaves. Vu and his comrades longed for chilies, eggplants, and vegetables to enliven their diets.
Vu says he nurtured a plan to one day build a modern vegetable garden for his mates, adding: “There was a serious shortage of vegetables that caused many of my comrades to be hospitalized. I became determined to do something for the islands, to at least make a vegetable garden for the soldiers.”
In February, 2015, Vu returned to the mainland to study at the Ho Chi Minh City Industry and Trade College. He and members of the school's Science and Technology Club began to research and design models for high-tech "Vegetable gardens for islands".
A pilot project on Tho Chu Island in Kien Giang Province, said Vu, takes advantage of local natural light and modern hydroponic technology to maximize vegetable yields while conserving energy, water, and human effort. The system will save the army and islanders thousands of US dollars annually in vegetable costs.
An advocate of safe agriculture, Doan Thanh Phong of Phu Nhuan district, Ho Chi Minh City, has a particular interest in Vu’s project.
Phong says applying advanced cultivation techniques like this will have a big impact on remote islands.
"Vegetable gardens for islands’ is a great project because it is adaptable and improves the lives of soldiers and other residents of islands whose natural conditions are harsh,” Phong explains.
The model was praised for its feasibility and humanity by a program to mobilize ideas for green islands jointly organized by the Vietnam Students Association in Ho Chi Minh City and the Youth Science and Technology Development Center.
The project was selected in August for a pilot investment on Tho Chu Island. With an initial investment of US$1,800, Vu will make his dream of a vegetable garden a reality on an area of 50 square meters.
Lam Dinh Thang, President of the Vietnam Students Association in Ho Chi Minh City said, “The project’s author has proven his deep understanding of the practical situation on the islands and of hydroponic cultivation in the very harsh conditions of Tho Chu Island. We have decided to invest in the project because we find it highly feasible.”
Vu says he will now try to raise money to replicate the model on other islands.
Farmers encouraged to plant genetically modified maize to rise product
The Department of Plant Protection encouraged farmers to plant new strain of genetically modified (GM) maize to increase productivity.
According to the Department, lately, farmers have planted over one million hectare of maize a year producing 4.6 million tons a hectare.
Annually, the country has spent a big sum buying maize for processing animal feed for domestic demand. For instance, last year, Vietnam imported 8.3 million tons of maize.
The Ministry said that the planting area will be maintained the same yet the Ministry encouraged farmers to use new strains, new cultivation and machines in planting.
The new strain help resisting insect and unfavorable factors as well as improveproductivity and quality.
New strain of GM maize proved a success when it was used in 2015; productivity was increased and farmers’ revenue was raised.
In 2016, new strain maize was planted in 10 percent of the country’s growing area.
As per the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)’s report, the country is one of nations of most maize consumption in the world with growth rate of 12 percent.
PM asks Hanoi authorities to probe confectionery fire
The Prime Minister ordered People’s Committee in Hanoi to probe a fire at a confectionery facility which killed eight people.
The government office sent the PM’s directive on the flame asking Hanoi’s authorities to visit and give support to victims in hospitals and relatives of dead workers.
In addition, Hanoi’s leaders must liaise with the Ministry of Public Security to investigate the cause of the fire and report to the PM.
The fire broke out at a confectionery facility in Hanoi’s Hoai Duc District on July 29 killing 8 people and injuring 2 others.
Countryside men honored for doing business well
The Youth Communist Union in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday organized a ceremony to honor 17 young men in rural districts who do business well.
One of countryside men honored in the ceremony is Bui Minh Thang hailing from HCMC’s Cu Chi District who applied technology in planting mushroom.
Thang invested in automatic mushroom sprayer machine, room climate control machine, and other machine in his 700 meter square farm. He earn VND350 million per month.
His farm offers employment for 10 local men with earning of VND5 – 6 million each a month.
Nguyen Ngoc Thu in Binh Chanh District was honored at the ceremony as he creates jobs for 30 local laborers in his apricot blossom – coconut farm. He makes earning of VND600 million a month with profit of VND250 million ($11,000)