The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development has promised to ask the Prime Minister for an aid package of more than 100 billion VND for the central province of Binh Dinh to overcome the on-going drought.

Minister Cao Duc Phat made the pledge at a working session with Binh Dinh officials on July 5 as part of his trip to inspect efforts fighting drought and the situation of fishermen in the locality.

More than 12,900 ha of rice in Binh Dinh are withering due to the drought, while over 18,700 households are suffering from water shortage for their daily use. Local officials estimate that the number of affected households can rise to 28,890 if there is no rain from now until the end of the month.

The minister also agreed to allocate capital for Binh Dinh to upgrade seven irrigation reservoirs within this year.

Regarding support for fishermen, Minister Phat said his ministry has submitted to the Prime Minister a plan designed specifically for Binh Dinh, under which investment will be provided for the building of 430 new fishing vessels and upgrading 1,550 ships. The Tam Quan Bac fishing port in Hoai Nhon district will also be upgraded to serve local fishermen.

At the same time, the ministry will assign its experts to work together with Binh Dinh to research suitable farming and animal raising models for the province, the minister said./.