Ben Tre coconut (Photo: VNA)

Ben Tre (VNA) –
The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre has replaced rice by coconut, fruit trees, vegetables and aquaculture in an area of 7,548 hectares under a project to restructure the local agriculture.

Nguyen Van Buoi, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that 3,206 ha of sugarcane have also been transferred to coconut planting.

Thanks to the restructuring, the average income of a local farmer increased from 21 million VND (924 USD) in 2013 to 32 million VND (1,408 USD) in 2016, he said.

The province has rolled out several models which combine production with consumption, Buoi said, citing the clean rice value chain model of the Thach Phu Rice-Shrimp Cooperative which covers nearly 100 ha and produces about 5 tonnes of rice per ha.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, agricultural development in Ben Tre has remained unstable and unsustainable in the context of climate change.

Along with complex developments of natural disasters and diseases, mechanisms and policies connecting businesses and farmers have failed to prove effective, the department said.

Vo Thanh Hao, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said Ben Tre will improve the efficiency of communications work to raise public awareness of agricultural restructuring, develop and complete the value chain and build new-style rural areas.

At the same time, the province will upgrade and complete technical infrastructure in service of production, and review and adjust agricultural production planning adaptable to climate change, he said.

More attention will be paid to scientific and technological applications in production, with priority given to high-tech, and building geographical indications and labels for a number of major local agricultural products, Hao said.

Ben Tre will also develop plants, livestock breeds and fisheries adaptable to climate change, intensify trade promotion, synchronously implement mechanisms and policies to promote production and business in a stable and environmentally friendly manner, create favourable conditions for farmers and businesses to access preferential, scientific, technological and credit loans, and improve the quality of human resources in rural areas, he added.-VNA