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Quang Ngai farmers go organic

— Farmers in central Quang Ngai province have come up with many ideas to protect their vegetable gardens from insects without using pesticides. These measures are much cheaper, more eco-friendly and healthy for farmers. Duc Loi Commune in Mo Duc district supplies a large amount of vegetable for the province and surrounding localities. In the past few years, many farmers have moved to organic farming due to the increasing demand for organic produce. However, the use of probiotics to replace pesticides is quite costly, leading to expensive vegetable. To deal with the issue, some farmers in the commune have started producing their own insecticides to protect their vegetables. Pham Thi Dung, a farmer in An Mo village in Duc Loi commune, has a 1,000 square-metre vegetable garden. She said she didn’t use pesticides in her garden as she has another way of protecting her crops by letting the cosmos flower do the job. “Insects are attracted to the cosmos flowers, so I plant them next to the vegetables to protect my crops,” she said. Other flowers, such as cockscomb or midday flower are also planted in the garden. The flowers can help reduce 70 percent of the amount of probiotics she had previously used for her garden. Dung now harvests more than a tonne of vegetables monthly, bringing her more than 8 million VND (346 USD) every month. Le Thi Thu Lan, another farmer in the village, applies the same method to her small vegetable garden on the area of 250 square metres. Farmers have also produced homemade insecticides to target insects. Le Van Tuyen, director of Duc Loi commune’s Vegetable Cooperative, said he mixed probiotics with pineapple juice and water as a substance to protect his cucumber, luffa and bitter melon crops. Tuyen poured the substance into plastic bottles and hung them on vines to attract insects. “We all feel secure when we use eco-friendly methods for our garden. Our living environment, our health as well as consumers’ health are all protected,” he said. Farmer Huynh Tien Dung has another recipe. He soaks garlic, ginger and chilli in alcohol to get the extract and sprays it on his vegetable garden. He also designs a sticky trap and hangs it on the vines to trap insects. This method, together with weeding, digging soil and picking up worms on leaves, has saved him a lot of money and protected his crops. Tuyen said each farmer could earn about 7 million each 360 square metres per month, giving them a stable income. The communal People’s Committee said it would help find buyers for organic vegetables and provide seedlings and fertiliser to encourage local farmers to expand./. VNA/VNP