Planting organic vegetable in Ben Tre (Photo:VNA)

 Ben Tre (VNA) – The agro-forestry-fishery sector of the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre should aim for an increase of two percent in 2017, said Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Lap, citing forecast that drought and saline intrusion will become more severe.

In 2016, Ben Tre province suffered from prolonged droughts and saline intrusion, with huge losses for agriculture. Therefore, the agro-forestry-fishery sector only registered a growth of 0.9 percent, far below the target of 4.3 percent.

Currently, agriculture production of the province has gradually recovered, with 80 percent of damaged fruit growing areas have been restored.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, as of now, the area of cultivated rice is estimated at 58,246ha, a decrease of 7.5 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the area of grass for animal husbandry was expanded by 15.8 percent to 3,035ha. The acreage of coconut trees, a specialty of the province, also went up 1.1 percent to 69,330ha.

As a result, the cattle herd in the province saw an 11.7 percent increase to more than 197,000 head.

To counter droughts and saline intrusion, local people have switched to new kinds of plants and animals to increase provincial economic value and adapt to climate change.

Around 852ha of rice fields has been switched to other plants such as fruit trees, vegetable or grass for animal husbandry.-VNA