A large-scale rice field (Photo: VNA)

Can Tho (VNA) –
The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho plans to restructure its agricultural sector towards increasing added value and sustainable development during 2018-2022 under a project launched in the locality on August 22.

According to Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Ngoc He, the project looks to improve quality and competitiveness of the local farm produce, build key goods groups and concentrated production zones applying advanced technologies, and promote value chain development.

During 2018-2020, the city’s agricultural production value is expected to grow an average of 3.5 percent per year while capital injected into the sector is planned to increase 17 percent per year.

The city targets more than 2.5 percent in the growth of agro-forestry-fishery production for 2018-2020 period. High-tech agriculture will be strongly developed this time.

Building high-quality rice fields and safe vegetable zones meeting market demands as well as branching out urban agricultural models and orchard gardens in combination with eco-tourism are in the first line of the measures to realise the set goals.

The sector will focus on improving productivity and quality of plants and domestic animals as well as raising competitiveness of local farm produce.

By 2020, nearly 100,000 hectares of farming land will be cultivated, with one fifth of which to be applied with high technologies. 25,000 hectares inefficient rice farming land will be shifted to aquaculture and cultivation of other crops.

Besides ensuring appropriate irrigational system, the province will help local farmers improve production capacity and build advanced production models.

Three high-tech agricultural zones will be built at the Agricultural Seed Centre, Hau River Farm, and Co Do Farm. Upon completion, the facilities will be responsible for coordinating high-tech agriculture network, and working with institutes, universities and enterprises to study and apply new technologies.

Also, Can Tho will pilot bio-tech application models and transfer technologies to local farmers.

Due attention has been paid to investment attraction, connection between businesses and local cooperatives and households in producing and selling products, disease prevention for crops and animals, and building and promotion of local agricultural brands.

The agricultural restructuring project was first launched in the city in 2013. After five years of implementation , value of agricultural production increased 3.2 percent per year, and earning from one hectare of crops surges 7 percent to 32.5 million VND (1,440 USD), while that from one hectare of aquaculture picked up 9.2 percent to 99.7 million VND (4,287 USD).

Currently, the city has nine agricultural products granted geographical indication and collective brands. It has established 238 new agricultural cooperatives, as well as lured many investors in production, processing and selling of local farm produce.-VNA