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Nguyen Viet Minh checks the product before sending it to trading businesses. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Lanh

In 1987, after finishing his service protecting the northern border, Nguyen Viet Minh returned to Xuan Phu Commune, Xuan Truong District, Nam Dinh Province hoping to escape poverty and enrich his homeland.

However, small-scale production and a lack of capital brought low economic efficiency, making his family's life difficult.

In 2009, Minh found a partner to work with and signed a contract for sewing curtains for 10/10 Textile Joint Stock Company.

Initially, he opened a garment factory with an area of about 100sq.m in Xuan Phu Commune and recruited 30 employees to work, with a monthly salary of VND2 million (US$86) per person.

After five years of working while focusing on investing in machinery and equipment and improving skills for workers, his family's sewing facility has gradually stabilised.

This helped him expand his production facility, recruiting more than 100 employees to work with a salary of VND4-5 million ($170-210) each per month.

Currently, each month, the sewing facility produces some 100,000 curtains and earns about VND5 billion ($216,000) per year.

Among the workers at Minh’s plants, nearly half are children of wounded soldiers, sick soldiers, families with great contributions to the nation or in difficult economic circumstances.

During the production process, Minh realised handicraft products that were friendly to the environment were favoured in European and American markets.

In 2013, after researching the market, he boldly hired teachers from vocational schools to teach sedge knitting to make handicraft products for export to people in some communes of Xuan Truong District.

 

For each product, workers are paid an average of VND30,000 - 35,000 ($1,3-1,5) per unit depending on the type and size.

From about 50 households participating initially in Xuan Phu and Xuan Phong communes, now, the craft of knitting sedge for export employs about 500 workers in 11 communes of Xuan Truong and Giao Thuy districts.

With high quality human resources, on average, he collects and exports about 15,000 - 20,000 products per month with a turnover of tens of billion dong a year. (VND10 billion equals $431,400).

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many sectors and plants have struggled, even having to cease production or fire workers. But Minh's sedge products still maintain normal operations, ensuring jobs and income for workers.

Trinh Thi Chieu, who lives in Xuan Phu Commune, Xuan Truong District, said that during the past four years, knitting sedge for export has brought her a stable income.

With VND5 million ($210) per month, Chieu feels secure.

Pham Thi Bich, who also lives in Xuan Phong Commune, said since Minh brought his handicrafts career to his hometown, everyone was very happy because all people in villages have jobs with stable income from VND100,000 to 200,000 ($4,3-8,6) per day.

Deputy chairman of the Nam Dinh Province Veterans’ Association Le Xuan Thu said that such efforts, the number of poor veterans has decreased significantly.

In 2015, there were more than 1,200 veteran families in poor households. Now, the province has only more than 250 poor veteran families, accounting for 0.23 per cent of total veteran households.  VNS

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