Farmers harvest rice in Hau Giang province’s Vi Thanh city (Photo: VNA)

Hau Giang (VNS/VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang will develop its agriculture towards improving added value and sustainable development, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Tran Chi Hung, director of the department, said the province would restructure its agriculture toward using advanced and modern farming techniques and building new-style rural areas.

The province would increasingly apply high technologies to improve yield and quality of agricultural produce, reduce production costs, and adapt to climate change, he said.

Hau Giang, located in the centre of the delta, has more than 80 percent of its population working in the agriculture sector.

The province has 134,000ha of arable land, including 82,000ha of rice and 30,000ha of fruits.

According to Le Tien Chau, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, the area has potential for developing agriculture but its agriculture production has many limitations.

The province’s agricultural production has not shifted to commercial production and has not had a strong linkage between farmers and companies to guarantee outlets, according to the department.

The number of companies investing in the agriculture sector is small and the added value of agriculture produce is low.

In recent years, the province has established specialised farming areas for domestic consumption and export.

The specialised farming areas include 32,000ha of high quality rice, 8,000ha of sugarcane, 2,500ha of pineapple, 15,000ha of fruits and 1,500ha of aquaculture.

Hau Giang has 13 agricultural produce granted brand names. They include Phu Thanh Nam Roi grapefruit, Nga Bay king orange, Hau Giang 2 rice, Hau Giang anabas, Long Tri sweet mandarin, Hau Giang mango and Hau Giang soursop.

The province has 173 agricultural cooperatives and one agricultural cooperative alliance, including 25 new agricultural cooperatives established last year.

Many agricultural cooperatives have cooperated with companies to guarantee outlets and improve income for their members.

Nguyen Thien Hoa, head of the Rural Development Sub-department, said about 40 companies and enterprises are signing farming contracts with 23,507 households and guarantee outlets for their 24,349ha of rice.

Some other crops like seedless lime, soursop and okra in some localities have also been guaranteed outlets, he said.

The province has encouraged farmers to switch to grow crops with high value and stable outlets to improve income.

In Phung Hiep district, which is the delta’s largest sugarcane growing area, farmers turned 1,056ha of sugarcane into growing other crops like seedless lime, soursop, Ido longan and pineapple last year.

Many farmers in Phung Hiep’s Phuong Binh commune have contracted with companies to grow MD2 pineapple and have stable outlets.

Nguyen Van Sy, head of the hi-tech agriculture cooperative group in Phuong Binh, said after many years facing losses from growing sugarcane because of the low price, he switched to grow MD2 pineapple and now has good income.

Under the farming contracts, pineapple farmers earn a profit of 20 million VND (860 USD) per 1,000sq.m a crop, but they could only earn 2 – 3 million VND (86 – 130 USD) per 1,000 sq.m from growing sugarcane previously, he said. 

“The lives of many households in the commune have become well-off after switching from growing sugarcane to growing MD2 pineapples,” he said./.
VNA