The Southern Institute for Water Resources Planning has set aside over 7 trillion VND (330 million USD) to develop irrigational infrastructure in the Mekong Delta between now and 2020, said its Director Nguyen Xuan Hien at a recent workshop in Kien Giang province.

The sum is small compared to more than 19 trillion VND (900 million USD) needed for developing the region’s irrigation system, he said, adding that 12 irrigational projects will serve extensive, intensive and semi-intensive farming of shrimps, fish and rice Ca Mau, Kien Giang, Bac Lieu, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Ben Tre, Tien Giang and Long An provinces.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang called on irrigational works to be zoned for eco-friendly development, ensuring that they are adaptable to climate change and sea water level rise.

Under a master plan for irrigational works in the Mekong Delta region by 2020, with orientations to 2030, localities lying on the left bank of Tien Giang river will invest in reservoirs, salinity control and upgrading of coastal dams while those in the Long Xuyen quadruple will finish the construction of irrigational works for Vam Rang – Ba Hon aquaculture area, and Ha Tien – Rach Gia coastal dyke in Kien Giang.

The northern and southern areas of Ca Mau and coastal areas of Kien Giang will dredge canals and build more seawater reservoirs.

With over 1.36 million ha possibly used for aquaculture, the Mekong Delta is set to zone off over 805,000 ha by 2020, with about 572,000ha for breeding shrimp living in brackish water in the eight above-mentioned provinces.-VNA