Illustrative image (Source :thanhnien)
HCM City (VNA) – Businesses proposed the State design more specific incentives to encourage the model of large-scale paddy fields during a recent conference in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Two years after the Prime Minister issued Decision 62/2013/QD-TTg on encouraging large-scale fields and connection of production and consumption of agricultural products, large-scale fields now account for just 4 percent of total farming area nationwide. 

As of September this year, the country had about 556,000 hectares of large-scale rice fields, 450,000 hectares of which are in the Mekong Delta. 

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam cited limited financial resources as the main obstacle for businesses and farmers in building material manufacturing zones and expanding production, and it is still difficult for them to access credit. 

There is little incentive or support for businesses when investing in large-scale rice production, while it requires large investments in infrastructure, material supply for farming and advance payment when buying rice from farmers. 

In addition, local administrations have not paid due attention to the issue, with just 11 out of the country’s 63 cities and provinces having issued policies to encourage the large-scale production model and around 10 having approved zoning plans for such fields. In some disadvantaged mountainous provinces such as Cao Bang and Bac Kan, no businesses have shown interest in investing in large paddy fields. 

Participants suggested assisting businesses in the form of long-term credit with zero-percent interest rates in the first two years to allow them to purchase machinery and equipment for farming, as well as short-term preferential loans to pay for input materials and buying rice. The businesses also asked for long-term land lease at preferential rate to build storage and processing plants. 

Deputy Minister Nam stressed that linking production and consumption of farm produce and building large rice fields is an inevitable direction for the agricultural sector to address the current shortcomings.-VNA