Masan High-Tech Materials and its imprint in community development in Dai Tu

Aug 24, 2022

The growth of Masan High-Tech Materials, the owner and operator of Nui Phao mine, has brought about a new appearance to this land, creating an important “nudge” for Dai Tu to be recognized as Town in the near future

MHT leaders visit and exchange about safe tea production at Nhat Thuc tea Cooperative, Phuc Linh commune, Dai Tu district

100 years ago (1/8/1922 – 1/8/2022), Dai Tu district in Thai Nguyen province was officially established after having been merged with Van Lang district (North of the current district). Throughout its establishment and development, Dai Tu, known as the cradle of the revolution, was proudly honored twice with title “Hero of the People’s Armed Force” by the Communist Party and the State. In the “Doi moi” period, Dai Tu district also had a commune first recognized as a new-style rural area (Hung Son commune) in Thai Nguyen province. Especially, one of the highlights of industrialization and modernization in Dai Tu district is the world-class Nui Phao processing plant. The growth of Masan High-Tech Materials, the owner of Nui Phao mine, has brought about a new appearance to this land, creating an important “nudge” for Dai Tu to be recognized as Town in the near future.

Last week, we paid a one-day visit under a sweltering sky to Nhat Thuc Tea Cooperative (Phuc Linh, Dai Tu), managed by Ms. Dao Thi Thuc with the tea processing facility since 2007. Starting with the conventional methods, after over 10 years of development, the tea processing facility has now been upscaled and established Nhat Thu Tea Cooperative with 20 members. In 2019, Thuc Tam Tea product of Nhat Thuc Tea Cooperative was qualified with 3-star OCOP (One Commune One Product) Certificate and typical rural agro-products. To date, Nhat Thuc Tea Cooperative has developed two more OCOP tea products of Dinh Tam tea and Long Van tea and has applied for a 4-star OCOP certificate for Thuc Tam Tea. The Cooperative has been cultivating the tea based on VietGAP standard with an area of 17.2ha, and trial cultivation of organic tea on 3ha. Apart from the tea farming area, the Cooperative has been partnering with 80 households outside the Cooperative to collect and purchase their fresh tea materials for processing. Nhat Thuc Tea Cooperative can process about 1 ton of fresh tea per day, equivalent to 200kg of dry tea types, even up to 1.7 tons of fresh tea per day in the peak period.

As of now, Nhat Thuc Tea Cooperative has total 12 major products, of which Dinh Tam Tea is of the highest price of VND 2.9 million per kilogram. The reputation, quality and high value of the tea products that the Cooperative has achieved is a long period of effort, research and improvement of processing methods.

Phuc Linh people in particular and Dai Tu people in general mostly live on tea plants. Previously, the farmers were used to process the tea by conventional methods, so the production and quality are low, difficult to compete in the market and low price”, shared Ms. Dao Thi Thuc, Head of Nhat Thuc Tea Cooperative. “Figuring this out, Nui Phao Mining Company has organized many activities to raise awareness and change mindset of tea farmers through conducting training courses and technology transfer; providing support to the tea farmers in tea cultivation based on VietGAP standards and organic tea. As a result, the selling price of tea products has significantly increased. Only our tea product prices range from 300,000 to VND 3 million per kg, ensuring an average income of VND 6 million/head/month for our 25 members. In the coming years, we look to continued attention and support from Nui Phao Company regarding techniques, fertilizers, and extension of the teal cultivation area, etc. to help Phuc Linh tea trees be well-placed in the market”.

Together with the support from Nui Phao Mining throughout past years, 17 other VietGAP safe tea cooperatives were established with the participation of nearly 500 households in Dai Tu district. More than 110ha of tea cultivation land were certified as VietGAP tea certificate. In addition, the Company supported 40 households in changing the VietGAP tea model to organic tea cultivation model on an area of 10 ha. The Company signed a trusted agreement with the Bank of Social Policies, Dai Tu branch to facilitate the micro-credit fund program that helps 400 households access the loan of around VND13 billion for family economy expansion. Not only investing in tea production, but some households have also developed bee-keeping models; established services cooperatives; or established local supply models to deliver goods and services for the Company, including Goods racks, company uniforms; transport and catering services, etc. These enterprises have also contributed to creating stable jobs for about 120 workers with an average income of VND 5 – 5.5 million/person/month.

The honey bee-keeping model of Tan Linh commune people supported by MHT achieved initial economic efficiency

From 2006 – 2021, the Company funded a total amount of VND 23.209 billion for 3,868 economic recovery packs through training programs such as garment worker training, toothpick makers, drivers, welders, security guards, cooking, start-ups, communal training, and agricultural extension programs such as: growing mushroom, safe tea and safe vegetables; and raising hedgehogs, chickens, bees and pigs, etc. In addition, the Company also supported project-affected people through separate policies through the economic recovery programs and funded extremely disadvantaged groups with 6,000 local residents not entitled to the State policy. 

Over the years, Nui Phao Company has been paying attention to the well-being of the local people, especially through social welfare policies that help them to develop business, create jobs and incomes, provide supports to poor households, build cultural works and infrastructure etc., facilitate the locals to enhance product value and contribute to the socio-economic development of the local area”, said Pham Quang Anh, Chairman of Dai Tu District People’s Committee.

Leaving Dai Tu, we were impressed by the stunning development of the district, as well as the creative way of providing means of livelihood to the locals by Nui Phao Company. “Our Company desires to continue to support the generations to come because Nui Phao mine life is limited. So, we are striving to bring recycling technology and advanced material production technology into Vietnam. As such, community responsibility will also be longer and more sustainable. We always learn about and listen to the locals to understand what they need. Our responsibility is to help them realize their dreams. This is the reason why we support them in growing tea, raising bees and other production activities. We have been showing Vietnam and the world that a mining project can completely operate in harmony with the development of the local community for development and success together. This is a big ambition, and we believe we are successful.” said CEO of Nui Phao Company.