Hundreds of farmers in Can Tho City and Kien Giang Province in early June participated in a greenization campaign to plant thousands of trees along rural roads in the two Mekong Delta localities. The campaign, titled “Clean Environment – Green Life,” was organized by Syngenta Vietnam to keep the environment clean and green and was part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) mission of the Switzerland-invested plant protection company.
The “Clean Environment – Green Life” campaign was the ninth annual activity organized in response to World Environment Day on June 5. Apart from new trees planted along rural roads in Can Tho City’s Thoi Lai District and Kien Giang Province’s Chau Thanh District, the participating farmers also collected 11 tons of waste, especially used bottles of insecticides and other plant protection drugs, and transferred them to designated venues for treatment.
On the occasion, Syngenta Vietnam also collaborated with local authorities to train local farmers on methods to use plant protection drugs in a responsible and safe manner.
Tran Thanh Vu, general director of Syngenta Vietnam, remarked, “We are very happy to see many farmers in Can Tho and Kien Giang enthusiastically participate in the ‘Clean Environment – Green Life’ campaign, which proves that campaigns to protect the environment and enhance sustainable agriculture have borne fruit.”
“Syngenta understands that farmers must be equipped with adequate knowledge and farming skills to achieve farming efficiency so as to improve their income and protect the environment,” Vu added.
Environmental protection and sustainable farming
Over some 30 years of doing business in Vietnam, Syngenta Vietnam has not only introduced its products, solutions and techniques to improve cultivation for Vietnamese farmers but also launched numerous CSR programs to protect the environment and contribute to the communities where it operates.
The company has launched programs to call on farmers to collect used bottles of plant protection drugs and help them how to use such drugs in a safe, responsible and efficient manner. Farmers would exchange such waste for gifts in four localities in the Mekong Delta. All used bottles and packaging, after being collected, will be transported to concentrated areas for treatment in line with the standards of the global corporation Syngenta.
Since the “Clean Environment – Green Life” campaign was initiated in 2015, as many as 17,000 farmers have been trained on protecting the environment and how to use plant protection drugs properly, and over 100 tons of used bottles have been collected for treatment from across the Mekong Delta and certain other provinces in the country such as Nam Dinh, Binh Thuan, and Lam Dong.
The company’s CEO, Tran Thanh Vu, stated that as the brands of Syngenta are associated with agricultural development in Vietnam, the company will continue to work with and support farmers in community programs.
“Only by protecting the environment and supporting farmers can Syngenta promote the sustained prosperity of farming communities and contribute to sustainable agricultural development in Vietnam,” he noted.
Houses for poor farmers
In 2010, Syngenta Vietnam launched the Houses for Farmers to improve housing conditions for poor families in rural areas. Each year, the company works with local authorities to single out poor households meeting the criteria of the company and helps rebuild their houses. The company will also advise these beneficiaries on how to do better farming to gain higher income and escape poverty.
To date, this program has donated 146 houses worth VND6 billion to poor farmers in 40 provinces across the country.
In April this year, the company, in collaboration with local authorities, handed over two new houses and repaired another one for poor farmers in Hoa Thuan Ward in Quang Nam Province’s Tam Ky Town, with a cost of VND120 million. This year, the company has set the target to build 15 houses for poor farmers with a total cost of VND800 million.
Incorporated in the Houses for Farmers program is the sub-project to renovate or build restrooms at schools. In 2022, ten restrooms were handed over by Syngenta Vietnam to schools in localities where the Houses for Farmers program was organized, and this year, the company has plans to hand over 12 restrooms to schools in several localities.
Last year also witnessed four concrete bridges built in rural areas in Soc Trang and Tra Vinh provinces at a cost of VND480 million to replace bamboo or wooden ones to enhance safety for the people and improve rural landscapes. This year, the company also has plans to build four more concrete bridges in the Mekong Delta.
The new bridges not only ensure easy and convenient traffic movement of local residents, but also contribute to the Government-initiated program for new rural development countrywide.
Apart from annually-scheduled CSR programs to benefit farmers, Syngenta Vietnam also organizes numerous field trips to poverty-stricken areas across the country, during which the company’s management and staff readily make donations to help the poor, be it farming households grappling with difficulties or students in need of school utensils, bicycles or warm clothes.
The company’s leadership stated that at Syngenta Vietnam, awareness on accompanying the community is spread among all people. Each year, all the company’s employees voluntarily contribute a small part of their salaries for community projects, such as donations of water filters for elementary schools and school bags for poor students in northern Vietnam, and blankets for poor people in remote regions in central Vietnam.
Tran Thanh Vu, general director of the company, said that apart from pursuing its core business to introduce its products and solutions to Vietnam’s agriculture, Syngenta Vietnam always considers CSR programs as the top priority in its operations to support the community.