Hien Tran is the first member of Fargreen's farmer network in Thai Binh.
When Hien gave birth to a set of twins when she went into labor the second time, the bigger family suddenly needed much more money.
Hien shared: “Before joining Fargreen, I had to pick up a lot of work in addition to growing rice so we could feed our three children, I also did a lot of heavy labour work. I raised ducks, took on odd jobs, worked at construction sites during the day. I even worked in the evening, doing some embroidery. I was always tired and didn’t have the time to help my children with their study.”
Her words told a common story about the hard life of the rice farmers who chose to stay with the land.
Since her house was very close to Fargreen's straw storage, she became curious seeing the company collecting rice straw, which she often burned after each harvest. She started asking about Fargreen got extremely excited about the work. When she knew that Ms. Sim - Fargreen's Farmer network coordinator was looking for farmers to join the operation, she registered for a trial period.
The work required of her was pretty simple: tendingand picking mushrooms. The simpler the work, the better it is for her, she found. Hien spends only three hours a day for the work with Fargreen, half the amount of time she used to spend on embroidering, yet that counts for more than half of her total income.
Furthermore, all members of her family also participate and support her. Her husband Mr. Thuan works with Fargreen too, filling in when the company needs people to collect and transport straw. Another source of income for the family! After school, her children could help her with watering and picking mushrooms, which could reduce the total time to 30 minutes. More importantly, her children now understand that they could spend their time helping their parents as well.
She remains to farm, and still picks up odd jobs now and then, to gain more stability. It still surprises her how well Fargreen’s work fits in her situation.
After a year of working with Fargreen, her family has seen a lot of improvement: they are more stable financially and mentally as they no longer have to worry about not being able to find more work. They have built a new house, a bigger one near his parents.
The old house where the five of them used to live is now used to grow mushrooms. The eldest daughter now works for garment factory and has a stable income, the twins are also in high school.
Approaching an age when heavy labor work is no longer suitable, Hien is glad that she is in Fargreen’s farmer network as the extra income would help to pay for the education of her twins.