Ben Tre Province, one of the largest salt producers in the Mekong Delta, has harvested 30 percent more salt this season because of the prolonged hot weather and high salinity level of sea water.

The harvest for the 2014-15 season was 75,000 tonnes, the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said.

With prices at about 1 million VND (46.5 USD) a tonne, farmers can make higher profits from salt than from rice cultivation.

Ben Tre has about 1,600 ha of salt fields, mostly in the coastal districts of Binh Dai and Ba Tri.

The province has encouraged farmers to use canvas sheets on fields to produce cleaner salt. Fields lined with canvas sheets protect the salt from soil contamination, improving quality.

In the 2014-15 salt producing season, Bao Thanh Commune, which has the largest salt-producing area in Ba Tri, has 10 households using canvas sheets on fields on a total area of 7ha.

Nguyen Minh Luong, in Bao Thanh Commune's Thanh Loi Hamlet in Ba Tri, has invested 20 million VND (950 USD) to buy canvas sheets to line his 900 sq.m of salt fields.

"With this new production method, I get a higher salt yield and better quality compared to traditional methods," he said. "I'm no longer afraid of not finding outlets for my salt as traders will come to my field and buy the salt at a higher price."

The Bao Thanh commune plans to work with the province's Rural Development Sub-department to ask companies outside Ben Tre to sign contracts to buy salt from the households.-VNA