Empowering ethnic minority women through a clean, safe and low carbon livestock breeding and forest protection microfinance program - Vietnam
Such women rely on agriculture, including breeding livestock like pigs for cash – which creates additional environmental problems of large amounts of solid waste and greenhouse gases. Pig farming practices also create unsanitary conditions that cause health risks.
Helping the planet
Enhancing the efficiency of pig farming reduces the push to clear forests for agriculture, preventing further deforestation while conserving other natural resources like freshwater. The fermented cushions promote reuse of organic farming waste, decrease solid waste, and reduce pollution, thereby improving land and water quality.
Air pollution is also cut, including potent greenhouse gases: In one year, the program reduced emissions by about 2,300 tons of carbon dioxide, 3,700 tons of sulfur dioxide, and 5,800 tons of mono-nitrogen oxides. The financing scheme encourages people to protect the forests instead of exploiting them, and the area it’s active in has reforested to some extent, increasing its carbon absorption capacity.
Women who tap microfinancing for probiotic-enhanced livestock breeding have more secure work and incomes. The altered practices have reduced spread of water-borne disease and parasitic infections, including among children. Better land, air, and water quality allows the ethnic Vietnamese communities as a whole to benefit from a cleaner and healthier environment.
The probiotic pig-farming technology used in this project is cheap and easy to replicate. Capital grows as the women pay back the small loans, allowing ever more loans to be granted. The project has operated profitably since its formation, showing how its scale can gradually be increased.
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