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Project News


Real Value of Chit Flowers

Lo Van Hoan

Until recently, Sai Luong villagers always think that the utility value of Chit flowers is not much. In every December, Chit flowers blossom in forest areas. The villagers go to the forest to collect Chit flowers for selling to businessmen with VND 1,800 to VND 2,000 per kg.

In 2010, the JICA project started to support forest protection and livelihoods development in our village. Project experts and facilitators introduced and guided villagers to produce not only main usual agricultural crops such as rice cultivation and fish raising, but also Chit brooms.

Through the project's introduction and guidance, the villagers understood how to make Chit brooms. Now, we can make Chit brooms ourselves. It is very convenient for the villagers to make Chit brooms because there are a lot of Chit flowers, and their price is low in Sai Luong Village.

We decided to set up one interest group (IG) of Chit broom production with seven numbers. The IG proposed to visit many places for learning techniques and gaining experience in Chit broom production. The proposal was approved by the JICA project. One of the most interesting activities to date was a study tour to SANDA Company in Hoa Binh Province. Duration of the study-tour was three days including the travel time.

The IG members and JICA project staff left Dien Bien Province in the morning on 9 November 2012 and arrived at Hoa Binh City at night. According to the study-tour schedule, the participants planned visit one place near Hoa Binh City on the following day. All the participants could not sleep in the first night in Hoa Binh because they were so excited about the visit on the following morning.

On 10 November 2012, the participants visited SANDA Company. We climbed up the hill following a small path to visit farm of chicken and pig raising to find the showroom of ethnic handicraft products and the training room of SANDA Company. There were many kinds of Chit brooms with different shapes and colors in the showroom.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu is the Director of SANDA Company who is an active woman in production and trade management. Her communication skill was excellent. She looked very gentle was very hospitable as well. During the visit in the morning, the participants focused on learning how to organize production, labor management, and marketing approach of the company. In the afternoon, the trainers of the company taught the participants some basic methods of making Chit brooms. Everyone was very happy to join. A farewell party was organized by SANDA Company in the evening on the same day.

According to the Director's self-introduction, before starting Chit broom production, her life was very difficult. Her life was better after setting up the company and producing Chit brooms for export. Today, many kinds of Chit brooms are exported from the company to many countries in Europe, Asia, and North America. Ms. Thu was recognized as one of the most successful businesswomen in the country.

Next day, in the morning on 11 November 2012, we left Hoa Binh to return to Dien Bien Province. After leaving Hoa Binh, we had a lot of questions such as: Do Chit flowers have a big value? Why don't we produce Chit broom as there are a lot of Chit flowers at our village? Can the Chit broom IG of Sai Luong Village be operated well or not in the next year?

From my point of view, everything can be done – management of the company was relatively simple and techniques of making Chit brooms got easier after the study-tour.

After the study-tour, Chit broom IG members have discussed and agreed to set up Sai Luong Chit Broom Production Co-operative. The Co-operative will be started at the beginning of 2013 when there will be enough material for Chit broom making.









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