Bac Lieu to continue expanding large-scale rice fields hinh anh 1Bac Lieu plans to create five large-scale rice fields with a total area of 25,000ha this year (Photo: VNA)

Bac Lieu (VNA) - The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu plans to create five large-scale rice fields with a total area of 25,000ha this year and six more with a combined area of 31,000ha next year, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The province hopes by next year to have 10,000ha of large-scale rice fields, created by pooling individual farmers’ lands to achieve economies of scale, adopting Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards.

Luong Ngoc Lan, director of the department, said the province is implementing policies to stimulate consumption of agricultural produce, create large-scale rice fields, create tie-ups between farmers and companies to guarantee sales of their produce, and restructure agriculture towards value addition and sustainability.

To achieve the targets it would invest in infrastructure for large-scale rice fields, including electric pumping stations, roads, irrigation systems, drying facilities, and rice processing and preserving facilities, he said.

The province plans to set up co-operatives and co-operative teams that can instruct farmers in growing crops and represent them in negotiations with companies.

It will help adopt advanced farming techniques and use machinery at all stages of growing and preserving rice.

It has encouraged large and prestigious companies to invest in its large-scale rice fields and adopt VietGAP standards and guarantee purchase of more rice from the large-scale fields.

The department has petitioned the provincial People’s Committee for funding to create efficient rice farming models using VietGAP and organic standards.

It also wants the People’s Committee to get research institutes and universities to improve the quality of local speciality rice varieties and create new fragrant and high-quality varieties that suit local conditions and can cope with climate change.

The province has 21 large-scale rice fields with a total area of 11,400ha. Most rice grown there are high-quality and fragrant varieties.

Individual farmers with contiguous fields will grow the same variety and follow the same schedule and techniques. The entire harvest of large-scale fields is guaranteed purchase.

The province has some 183,000ha of land under rice and produces 1 million tonnes of paddy annually.

Rice is the main source of income for farmers, but most grow on a small scale and lose out on the advantages offered by scale.-VNA