Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat addresses the ceremony. Photo: VNA 
Progress should be made in the irrigation sector towards serving important Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) programmes, including those to restructure agriculture and build new-style rural areas, said MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat.

Speaking at a ceremony on August 28 to mark the 70th anniversary of the sector, the minister said it should work harder to respond to climate change – forecast to be one of the greatest challenges facing the world and Vietnam in particular.

Over the past 70 years, the irrigation sector has made significant achievements including building 13 major systems ensuring water for nearly 324,000 hectares of farmland.

Thousands of irrigation projects have been carried out nationwide with 6,886 reservoirs, 10,000 large stations and 5,500 main sewers, 234,000 kilometres of canals and 25,960 kilometres of dykes.

Irrigation systems supply water to 7.3 million hectares of rice farms and 1.5 million hectares of crops, while providing about 6 billion cubic metres of water for daily use, industry and serving flood prevention and control.

According to Minister Phat, the sector’s strong performance has contributed to ensuring the country’s food security and making Vietnam one of the world largest exporters of rice and various agricultural products.-VNA