The application of high technology in orchid plantation has offered farmers higher profits (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The average production value per hectare of agricultural land in Ho Chi Minh City has increased year after year even as the area shrank, according to the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Last year the value increased by 10.9 percent to 450 million VND (19,806 USD) per hectare, among the highest in the country.

This was a result of shifting the farming structure towards an urban-oriented model and increasing the use of sophisticated technologies.

Thus, in some places, unproductive rice and sugarcane growing areas became farms growing bonsai, flowers and vegetables, bringing farmers higher profits.

More than 389ha of lands were converted last year, up 385.5 percent, and farmers grow vegetables and fruits in them.

Vegetables bring revenues of 1-1.4 billion VND per hectare annually; orchids, around 2 billion VND; dairy cows (at a scale of 20 head per household), 800 million VND; shrimp, 2.7-3 billion VND per hectare; and ornamental fish, 10-12 billion VND per hectare. These farmers earn 30-40 percent profits.

According to the department, vegetables were grown on a total of 17,270ha, 12.4 percent up from 2016, with the output rising 14.3 percent to more than 419,410 tonnes.

The city also had around 2,300ha of land under flowers and ornamental trees, up 7 percent.

There were 142,653 cows, a year-on-year decrease of 6.6 percent, and 343,300 pigs, a decrease of 4.6 percent, it said.

Aquaculture and seafood output rose by 5.5 percent.

The city exported 18.2 million ornamental fishes for 20 million USD, a year-on-year increase of 21.2 percent, it said.

Agriculture accounted for only 0.8 percent of the city’s economy, but it was worth 19.6 trillion VND, comparable to one of the country’s larger agricultural provinces.

Its agro-forestry and fisheries sectors expanded at 6.3 percent, 2.2 times the national average.

This year, the farm sector would strive to raise average production per hectare to 500 million VND and grow agro-forestry and fisheries by 6 percent, the department said.

To achieve its targets, it said the city would continue its agricultural restructuring, especially enhancing the use of high-tech methods including bio-technology to provide safe and quality products.-VNA