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Updated: 2023-07-03 10:35:53

My Experience in Vietnam

(VBSP) The following article is from Dr. Nav Raj Simkhada Deputy CEO of Sana Kisan Bikas Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd, Nepal. Dr. Simkhada joined the delegation hosted by VBSP to Vietnam in 2022.















Lychee garden: Lychee is exported from Vietnam to China and other Southeast Asian countries (noted:  Dr. Nav Raj Simkhada (in blue) is talking with the owner of the garden)

Located in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is almost twice the size of Nepal (area 331,210 sq km) and has a population of around 100 million. Vietnam was under French rule for almost 100 years. It was liberated from French rule in 1954, but less than a year after its liberation, it had to face American attack. The Vietnam-US war lasted for almost 20 years (1955-1975). During the American invasion, South Vietnam fell into American hands, while North Vietnam (Hanoi) continued to be at war for 20 years.

Although North and South Vietnam were united in 1975 after World War II, the country's condition was still poor. Due to the war, the economic condition of the Vietnamese people became very weak and miserable. There was an extreme shortage of food. People were suffering from hunger and malnutrition. The cost of living and inflation were extremely high. Currency inflation was over 70%. About 70% of people were below the poverty line. Per capita income was less than $250.

In order to get rid of poverty, hunger and the country's miserable economic situation, Vietnam implemented a reform program called Doi Moi in 1986. Doi Moi means renovation and innovation. Under which programs were implemented to transform the state-controlled economy into a market-led economy. A policy was adopted to encourage the participation of the private sector in the areas such as agriculture, trade, and industry. The centralized economy was decentralized, and local level governments were given the responsibility of developing their communities. A policy was adopted in which the land under the control of the state would be given to the real farmers. Under the land reform program, the state has taken a policy of providing free land to the farmers of about half an acre. A policy was implemented to lease land to farmers who wanted to do commercial farming at a minimum price. The state also adopted a policy to return the land if the farmers kept it without cultivation. For housing, a policy was taken to build a house only on a specified small plot of land. In places where production is high, the state has provided infrastructure such as highways, irrigation, and electricity. Various programs have been implemented in order to encourage farmers to cultivate recommended crops suitable to particular soil. Timely availability of agricultural technology, advanced seeds, fertilizers at every local level was ensured by the state to promote agriculture.













Visiting team members with farmers at commercial farms

In order to apply modern technology in agriculture, youth were sent to Israel, Japan and European countries for training under the initiative of the state. Government has provided subsidized loans and other supports to for building tunnels and green houses to increase agricultural production. In addition to encouraging young people who have returned Vietnam from learning agricultural skills, local authorities were made responsible to resolve any problems they have faced such as paste control, marketing and others. Along with this, many youths have been encouraged to engage in agricultural work due to timely provision of fertilizers, improved seeds, concessional loans, insurance, training, irrigation and other infrastructure supports. That is why many young people are involved in agriculture in Vietnam.












Discussion between local level people's representatives, officials of cooperatives and visiting team members

Compared to Nepal, agricultural cooperatives of a different nature are found working in Vietnam. In Vietnam, farmers engaged in specific agricultural production activities such as cultivation of green vegetables, fruits, animal husbandry, etc. have formed separate cooperatives. A cooperative is formed by a minimum of five and a maximum of twenty farmers involved in one or more than one production activity of the same nature. Farmers are involved in production, while cooperatives take responsibility of marketing. Therefore, farmers in Vietnam need not worry about where to sell their products. The cooperatives take the responsibilities to sale the farmer's production in the market. The cooperatives are supported by Vietnam Bank for Social Policies and government to make them functional and successful.

Contributions from Vietnam Bank for Social Policies has greatly supported to achieve remarkable progress in poverty reduction and rural development in Vietnam among others. The bank is a unique model of Vietnam. It mobilizes supports of the whole political systems and mass organizations to the poor and policy beneficiaries who are mostly in rural areas, in line with providing them preferential interest loans. This credit channel is accompanying around 6.7 million poor households and policy beneficiaries to improve their lives, escape poverty, and raise their confidence.

Vietnam once suffering from hunger and malnutrition, now has not only become self-reliant on food grains but also can even export food products, fruits, vegetables, silk, etc. At present, Vietnam exports agricultural products such as tea, coffee, silk, peanuts, and rice in large quantities. This was made possible due to timely availability of necessary services to farmers from all levels government and provision of suitable policies to support cooperatives. With the implementation of such policies, the contribution of agriculture to the GDP is 12.36% and agriculture has provided employment to about 1.8 million people. The progress made by Vietnam in agriculture, industry, infrastructure, business, etc. can be attributed to its dedicated leadership and hardworking Vietnamese people.


Members of the visiting team along with officials and members of Silk Cooperative

Under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, war-torn (devastated by war) Vietnam has accelerated development and modernization. Ho Chi Minh's three inspiring and guiding words have made Vietnam achieve high economic growth today. The GDP per capita has increased to 3700 dollars in 2021. Those three inspiring guiding words are as follows:

Patriotism: Ho Chi Minh has sacrificed his whole life for the country. He told all the Vietnamese people that they don't have to stay single like him, but when doing something, they should think about what will benefit the country and the people and should carry out such activities that benefits the country. He expresses the entire Vietnamese people that there will be no development without patriotism. While doing something in life or starting a new job or taking a decision on any matter, you should also think about it will benefit the country and not only yourself. The initiatives should be carried out only if it will benefit the country. If you do something that helpful to the country, it will benefit not only you but the entire country and people.

Patience: Without patience, none of the work can be successfully accomplished in life. Achieving great success or transformational change requires patience. Ho Chi Minh had to fight for nearly 25 years with his life to liberate Vietnam from foreign rule. If he did not have patience and courage, Vietnam would not be an independent country today. He advises all the youth to be patient in life. Therefore, if you work hard with positive thinking and patience in life, you will surely get the desired success.

Responsibility comes before integrity: Honesty towards one's responsibilities and duties is very necessary for every community and profession. Whether it a farmer, student, teacher, lawyer, doctor, an administrator or a politician, whatever profession he/she belongs to, he/she should be honest towards duties. Development and prosperity of the country is possible only if every person fulfills his responsibilities honestly.


Perhaps it is Ho Chi Minh's sacrifice or motivating words that inspired patriotism, positive thinking and persistence in Vietnamese people in every step of their life. Whether it is in the agricultural sector or in the banking sector, or in the field of industry, business and tourism, the active participation of youth is found everywhere. The country has been successful in every field such as: industrialization, development, construction, and modernization of agriculture. Every Vietnamese people look happy. Every time when I was in the farmers’ field, they always offer their products. Everyone seems helpful in Vietnam. I did not feen any insecurity when walk around market. I felt that what was supposed to happen was happening in Vietnam.

Dr. Nav Raj Simkhada



Poor Households

Lending to poor households 6,6%/year
Lending to poor households in 64 poor districts as stipulated by the Government Resolution No.30a in 2008 3,3%/year

Near Poor Households

Lending to near poor households 7,92%/year


Lending to disadvantaged students 6,6%/year

People in need of loans for job creation

Lending to business establishments owned by war invalids and handicapped persons 3,3%/year


Term Deposit Rate
Overnight 3,04%/year
1 week 3,23%/year
2 week 3,5%/year