Ca Mau, Bac Lieu suffer serious losses due to drought hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Ca Mau (VNA) – The Mekong Delta provinces of Ca Mau and Bac Lieu have lost dozens thousands hectares of crops to severe saltwater intrusion and drought that have hit the whole region since early February.

Saltwater intrusion and drought have damaged 5,100 hectares of fruits and vegetable areas in Ca Mau province, mostly in Nam Can, Ngoc Hien, Dam Doi and Phu Tan districts, and Ca Mau city.

The affected areas were those growing watermelon, cucumber, tomato, papaya, mango and jackfruit.

Nguyen Thanh Lam, a farmer from Ly Van Lam commune, Ca Mau city, said his family earns a living from two hectares of farming land which grows paddy in the rainy season and watermelon in the dry season.

Watermelon harvest used to generate an income of about 30 million VND per season but this year, he lost all his watermelon area due to drought and saltwater intrusion.

Local authority recommended the farmers to temporarily stop planting new fruit trees until the end of this dry season while they will help the farmers shift to new varieties of fruits and vegetables that are more resistant to saltwater.

Farmers in Bac Lieu have also suffered serious losses as approximately 11,500 hectares of Winter-Spring crops were damaged by the disasters.

Its growing areas of Tai Nguyen rice, a high-yielding variety of rice that produces about 10 tonnes per hectare, have suffered the most.

According to Lam Anh Tuan, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hung Hoi commune, the commune has cultivated 2,066 hectares of Tai Nguyen rice. Of the area, over 80 percent, or nearly 1,700 hectares, were affected, including 625 hectares completely destroyed.

If the shortage of water supply continues until mid-April, another 2,500 hectares of rice are likely to be lost.

To cope with the situation, the province plans to build 54 dykes along Ninh Quoi – Cau Sap at the cost of more than 2 billion VND to prevent saltwater enter deeper into the agricultural lands, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Duong Thanh Trung said.-VNA