VIE-STYLE

Đồng Nai pursues unique deer and stag farming model, combining tourism

Located in the remote and distant region of Vĩnh Cửu district in Đồng Nai province, Hiếu Liêm commune is gaining popularity due to its unique economic models.

 

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Deers and stags are easy to raise, resistant to diseases, and can be fed simple food. VNA/

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ĐỒNG NAI – Located in the remote and distant region of Vĩnh Cửu district in Đồng Nai province, Hiếu Liêm commune is gaining popularity due to its unique economic model of deer and stag farming combined with eco-tourism.

Nestled along the banks of the Trị An hydroelectric reservoir, Hiếu Liêm was formerly part of the Hiếu Liêm Forestry, later becoming the new economic area for many migrants from Hà Tĩnh.

Endowed with favorable natural conditions, the fertile soil here is conducive to growing grass, leading to many locals raising deer and stags for their antlers.

These animals are easy to raise, resistant to diseases, and can be fed simple food such as banana leaves, strawberries, or various types of grass. Their enclosures are made of wood, iron mesh fences, and so on.

With over 26 years of experience in deer and stag farming, Phan Xuân Ngọc, residing in Hamlet 3, Hiếu Liêm commune, Vĩnh Cửu district, exemplifies the success and effectiveness of this farming model.

According to Ngọc, in 1997, he left his homeland in Hương Sơn district, Hà Tĩnh province, bringing along a few breeds of deer and stag to establish his livelihood in the Hiếu Liêm Forestry.

Over time, he realised that these animals adapted well and brought high economic efficiency. He then decided to continue with deer and stag farming in the new area.

Ngọc added that currently, the price of stag velvet is around VNĐ8 million (US$329) per kilo, while deer velvet is about VNĐ2.5 million per 100 gram.

Selling 40 deer and 10 stags per year, after deducting expenses, would yield a profit of over VNĐ500 million.

“Deer and stags eat grass and agricultural by-products, so they almost do not require money to buy them food. The Hiếu Liêm commune area grows a lot of bananas and fruit-bearing trees and these wild animals are relatively disease-resistant compared to other livestock. Therefore, raising them gives us peace of mind regarding care and market demand,” shared Ngọc.

 

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Phan Xuân Ngọc tends to his farm. Deer and stag farming has improved the lives of many locals in Hiếu Liêm Commune. VNA/

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According to the deputy chairman of the People’s Committee of Hiếu Liêm commune, there are currently 125 households raising deer and stags, with a total herd of over 1,000 animals.

This is a traditional and well-known profession in Vĩnh Cửu district, which specialises in raising deer and stags for their antlers.

In the past, in Hiếu Liêm commune, there were many households raising one and two deer or stags. However, these households have now formed links with each other or invested to increase herds from 20 to 40 animals.

Compared to traditional livestock in Đồng Nai, raising deer and stags for their antlers has high and stable economic value.

The commune is providing additional guidance for local residents to develop sustainable and economically valuable farming.

Thanks to the profession, the local area’s livelihoods has greatly improved over the years. It has seen the rise of well-built houses, and the children of many farming families raising deer and stags have been receiving proper education.

The prosperity of the deer and stag village in Hiếu Liêm is intertwined with the overall prosperity of the entire commune.

Hiếu Liêm commune achieved new rural development status in 2015, and by 2019, the locality had attained advanced new rural commune status.

Tourism development

To meet the development needs of a traditional trade village and the consumption of local traditional products, the Hiếu Liêm Deer and Stag Farming Support Service Cooperative was established.

Currently, the cooperative has seven members in its Board of Directors and 23 members overall, all of whom are large deer and stag farmers in the commune.

According to Nguyễn Văn Truyện, the cooperative’s director, thanks to the sharing of experience, capital, and farming techniques from the commune’s Farmers’ Association and the cooperative, many households have received help.

Many high-value deer and stag products have been produced, meeting domestic consumption demands.

“At present, we are completing the procedures to register Hiếu Liêm deer and stag velvet as a local One Commune, One Product (OCOP). This will be a significant step in promoting deer and stag velvet products to a wider audience. We are also experimenting with packaging small amounts of deer and stag velvet for tourists. This will be more convenient and suitable for a broader audience,” Truyện said.

Currently, all deer and stags in the commune are inspected by forestry and veterinary officers, ensuring clear origins and strict control. This is the guiding principle that the cooperative focuses on to move towards sustainable farming.

Truyện further shared that for the village to continue developing, deer and stag farms here are applying biotechnology – Indigenous Microorganism (IMO) production techniques from local raw materials.

The goal is to turn these farms into eco-friendly tourism spots.

Ensuring environmental hygiene and biological safety is a top priority.

Currently, the deer and stag farming model combined with eco-tourism is being actively promoted by the local community and the cooperative. Many tourists have visited Hiếu Liêm to experience its rustic and pastoral charm.

With the advantage of being close to tourist destinations such as the Đồng Nai Nature and Culture Reserve, Ó Island – Đồng Trường, Trị An Lake, connecting tours to these tourist attractions with the deer and stag farming village in Hiếu Liêm is very convenient.

Visitors can explore deer and stag farms, learn about care and harvesting of deer and stag velvet products, and purchase these specialties. –

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