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Harvesting the hard-earned seeds of rice with Ha Nhi Den people in Vietnam

Friday, November 06, 2020, 09:28 GMT+7
Harvesting the hard-earned seeds of rice with Ha Nhi Den people in Vietnam
Ha Nhi Den people carry harvested rice on their back. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

The paddy harvest season is coming to the mountainous areas of northern Vietnam, where farmers can be seen pacing through the terraced fields with their arms swiftly handling the crops.

Due to the scarcity of water, most upland regions in northern Vietnam can only cultivate one crop of rice per year.

Local people will wait for the rainy season around May and June to store water and grow rice seedlings.

The seedlings will then be transplanted to the fields one month later and nurtured until harvest in October or November.

This process is also the farming routine of people in Y Ty Commune of the mountainous province of Lao Cai.

People of Ha Nhi Den ethnic minority group make up over 80 percent of Y Ty’s population.

They are called the gurus of cultivation on terraced fields.

“People in the village make use of rainwater and water flows from mountains to irrigate the fields. Furthermore, they cut grass and build field banks,” Pha Mu Co, a Ha Nhi Den senior in Choan Then Village of Y Ti Commune revealed.

As water runs to the fields, a bevy of buffalo will be led up the terraces to plow soil, helping the fields stay soft and dampened.

Once the fields are flattened, farmers will start cultivating the germinated seedlings.

This would be followed by a few months of constant field visits, crop checkups, weed plucking, fertilizing as well as a ritual calling for bumper crops that involves the construction of a worship house in the midst of the fields.

Once the crop ripens, all manpower of each household is mobilized to the fields for harvest.

Harvested rice will be bundled and then stored in bags or baskets.

Farmers will load these storage units on their back and carry them home, which is located separately from the fields.

Each grain of rice is considered a treasure by the community in Y Ty.

Grains are dried along a road. Photo: Nguyen Duy/ Tuoi Tre

Grains are dried along a road. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

Ha Nhi Den youths harvest rice on the field. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

Ha Nhi Den youths harvest rice on the field. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

A farmer threshes rice in this photo taken in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

A farmer threshes rice in this photo taken in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

A farmer carries two bundles of rice on her back in this photo taken in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province. Photo: Ly Xa Duy / Tuoi Tre

A farmer carries two bundles of rice on her back in this photo taken in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province. Photo: Ly Xa Duy / Tuoi Tre

Farmers of Ha Nhi Den community in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province rest in the middle of their harvest day

Farmers of Ha Nhi Den community in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province rest in the middle of their harvest day. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

Plots in the terraced fields are reserved to grow rice seedlings in this photo taken in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province. Photo: Van Hai / Tuoi Tre

Plots in the terraced fields are reserved to grow rice seedlings in this photo taken in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province. Photo: Van Hai / Tuoi Tre

A farmer in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province steers a buffalo to plow the soil. Photo: Ly Xa Duy / Tuoi Tre

A farmer in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province steers a buffalo to plow the soil. Photo: Ly Xa Duy / Tuoi Tre

Farmers in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province uproot rice seedlings for transplant. Photo: Van Hai / Tuoi Tre

Farmers in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province uproot rice seedlings for cultivation. Photo: Van Hai / Tuoi Tre

Farmers from Choan Then Village of Lao cai Province erect a worship house for harvest rituals in the middle of the rice field. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

Farmers from Choan Then Village of Lao cai Province erect a worship house for harvest rituals in the middle of the rice field. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

Farmers in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province visit the rice field. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

Farmers in Y Ti Commune of Lao Cai Province visit the rice field. Photo: Nguyen Duy / Tuoi Tre

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