Acute drought hit Mekong Delta region (Photo: VNA)

Can Tho (VNA)
– The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will provide financial support for localities in the Mekong Delta regions which have been affected by acute drought and salt intrusion.

Accordingly, each hectare of rice suffering 70 percent loss or greater will be subsidised by 2 million VND (90 USD), while 1 million VND (45 USD) will be given to each hectare with 30-70 percent damage.

Local authorities are being urged to use local budgets to repair damages caused by drought and salt intrusion while waiting for capital disbursement from the central budget.

In mid-February, saltwater intrusion left negative impacts on nearly 60,000 hectares of shrimp-rice farms in Kien Giang province, 30,000 hectares of which were destroyed. Meanwhile, over 32,000 hectares of autumn-winter crops in Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces were badly hit by drought and salt intrusion.

High risks of drought and salinity are also threatening more than 330,000 hectares of rice being cultivated now during the winter-spring season in Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Kien Giang and Hau Giang provinces, which account for 35 percent of total rice planted in those provinces, and 21 percent of the region’s crop.

The MARD’s agencies will enhance water resource and salt intrusion forecasting, while supporting localities with suitable technical solutions in building temporary dams to take and store fresh water. In addition, the ministry will push forward the completion of a technical package to cultivate breeds of rice better adapted to drought and saltwater intrusion.

In the long-term, the ministry will prioritise the construction of facilities to cope with drought and salt intrusion and complete an irrigation system management project for rural development in the region.-VNA