Both husband and wife are former soldiers who were permanently injured through fierce Southeastern battles during the war against the US invasion. After the war, they started breeding porcupines and wild boar for meat. The business has become so successful that the married couple, who were very poor in the beginning, have now become billionaires.
Than Quang Vinh and his wife, Pham Thi Bich Ngoc, are residents of Linh Xuan Ward, Thu Duc District, HCM City. They are considered pioneers in breeding wild animals in the city.
Vinh narrated that in late 1980s, some of his comrades came over to his home and gave him a couple of small porcupines as gifts. He put them in a cage. A few days later, the porcupines still looked healthy and ate well. Vinh said to himself, “Why not try to breed them?”
|A view of Vinh and Ngoc’s boar breeding farm (Photo: SGGP)|
So said so done, Vinh made a big trellis cage for the porcupines. Every day, his wife went to the market to ask for withered turnips and vegetables from stalls to feed them.
After a few months, the female porcupine gave birth to two porcupettes (baby porcupines), which were sold at some ten million dong when they were two weeks of age.
Realizing that rearing porcupines was an easy and lucrative business, Vinh decided to setup a breeding farm. He borrowed money from his friends to buy a one-hectare plot of land where male and female porcupines were reared to be breeders.
The couple earned nearly VND30 million from the sale of their three first pairs of breeders.
Inspired by their initial success, Vinh and his wife decided to start another breeding business with boars. Vinh bought some sows trapped by hunters and then created a new crossbreed by breeding female wild boars with domestic boars.
The crossbreds brought more success to the married couple because the meat became a favorite dish of many gourmets in HCM City.
After twenty years of breeding the first pair of porcupines, Vinh and Ngoc now own seven farms rearing more than 100 female boars, 300 pairs of porcupines, more than 1,000 porcupettes and hundreds of hybrid boars in Cu Chi, Thu Duc and Binh Chanh districts of HCMC and in Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai provinces.
The married couple are now supplying breeding porcupines and boars to many breeding farms in cities and provinces nationwide, including Can Tho, Vinh Long, Long An, Quang Ngai and Hanoi. A kilo of boar meat sells for between VND150,000 and VND180,000 while a kilo of porcupine is sold at between VND 300,000 and 400,000.
After gaining enormous success with the domestic market, Vinh and his wife are now seeking to export their produce to foreign countries.
Vinh said that the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam is considering their application for their porcupines’ brand registration. Once they get the registered brand, they will export their produce to China.
Vinh also revealed that not long ago, after visiting his farms, a delegation from the agricultural sector in Hanoi announced their intention of cooperating with Vinh and his wife in seeking export markets, other than China, for their porcupines and hybrid boars.
Additionally, Vissan, a well-known local meat processing company, has also invited Vinh and his wife to cooperate with them to establish a boar slaughtering and processing line to supply safe and hygienic boar meat to markets in and outside the country.
Wealth and fame do not make Vinh and his wife forget the difficult and challenging days in battle fields and their comrades. They have helped their companions-in-arms escape poverty by supplying breeding porcupine and boars to them free of charge and teaching them breeding techniques.
Money will be refunded to Vinh and his wife only after their comrades have sold their produce. If the breeding fails, Vinh and his wife will incur the loss.
Thanks to experience gained through 20 years of breeding boars and porcupines, Vinh and Ngoc have written and published books about breeding techniques. Such books have been welcomed and used by many farmers and breeding companies as reference books because they are very practical and useful to farming work.