The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has approved a new plan for farmland use in the Mekong Delta by 2020, with a vision towards 2030.

The move aims to exploit the natural advantages of the region, boosting the sustainable development of agricultural production as well as its climate change adaptability.

Under the plan, agricultural land will cover 3.25 million hectares. Of this space, rice cultivation will make up the most (1.7 million ha), followed by aquaculture farms (542,800 ha), forest land (330,500 ha) and fruit plantations (185,000 ha).

However, within the time frame, more than 30,000 hectares of agricultural land will be flooded due to rising sea levels. Paddy farmland will reduce by around 15,000 hectares while aquaculture areas will extend to 558,000 hectares.

The region strives to bring the annual growth of agro-forestry-aquatic production to 3.8-4.2 percent by 2020 and targets an annual rice and aquatic product output of 24.5 million tonnes and 3.5 million tonnes, respectively.

The region also hopes that by 2020, every 1 hectare of crop cultivation land will yield 130 million VND (6,110 USD) of produce and every 1 hectare of aquaculture farm will create 250 million VND (11,750 USD).

The Mekong Delta, the country’s largest rice granary, comprises of 12 provinces and one centrally-run city with a total area of 40,000 square kilometres and a combined population of 18 million.-VNA