Irrigation facilities have helped increase the area of rice in the Mekong Delta region from 3.4 million hectares in 1997 to 4.2 million hectares in 2013, according to the Steering Committee for the Southwestern region.

The committee said the region harvested 24.8 million tonnes of rice in 2013, up 11 million tonnes compared with the rice output in 1997 when irrigation facilities had yet to be built.

Statistics released by the Southern Irrigation Planning Institute show that the region has more than 42,000k of canals, over 80 culverts and some 200 irrigation stations with a total capacity to water 81,620 hectares.
Thanks to its better irrigation system, the region has seen its agro-forestry-fishery production value increase nearly 7 percent each year, the institute said.

Irrigation facilities in the low-lying area of Dong Thap Muoi have prevented floods from spreading via borders while ensuring the safety for the summer-autumn harvest which usually falls in the flood season.

Meanwhile, in Long Xuyen Quadrangle, irrigation facilities have been upgraded to control the annual flood in August and provide water for summer-autumn and winter-spring seasons.

Presently, irrigation facilities in Ca Mau peninsula and to the left of the Tien River are being upgraded.

Such facilities have ensured water for about 10 million people or 66 percent of the region’s population.-VNA