Vietnam is paying special attention to crop restructuring and the application of science and technology to agricultural production to increase the values of exports including rice as agriculture is considered an important corner-stone of its economy, a radio report said.

The application of advance technologies and mechanisation should be promoted in agricultural production, The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) said.

Apart from increasing the value of rice, seeking more outlets, and ensuring profits for farmers, Vietnam has designed a sustainable agriculture development strategy. A master plan to restructure the sector with focus on boosting crop restructuring, developing large rice fields, and applying advanced technology in production is considered the right long-term track.

Turning part of rice fields into orchards is a way of crop restructuring that has resulted in higher income for farmers. Realities show that large-scale rice fields, a production model with the involvement of enterprises, are proving effective in its economic and social aspects. The implementation of this model has revealed that the living conditions of farmers participating in the programme have improved remarkably.

“Many farmers, including me, are satisfied with the production model of large-scale fields because it has increased the value of our rice. We get more practical benefits by developing brands for rice for export,” said Nguyen Van Tac from Vinh Binh commune in An Giang province. Growing watermelons in rice fields is another successful model of crop restructuring that brings in high productivity and earnings. This link between the State, scientists, enterprises and farmers has been tightened.

“Since we work with the company, we can decide to whom we want to sell rice. This means like at present, that after harvesting, if the selling price is at an appropriate level, we can sell our product. But if not, we can keep it for storage, dry it, and wait until we can sell it for a better price,” said Nguyen Van Cuong, a farmer who is joining the Vinh Binh large-scale field invested by the An Giang Plant Protection Company.

Vietnam has become a leading global exporter of rice and a number of other agricultural products. The sector has acknowledged the restructuring of crops and animals and the application of high-technology as the keys to helping it make up a larger part of the national economic structure. Farmers in the Mekong Delta, the country's biggest rice granary, had a bumper harvest from the 2013 – 2014 winter-spring crops. They expect to complete the harvest of more than 1.6 million hectares of rice by the end of this month, according to the Steering Committee for Southwestern Region.-VNA