Large-scale rice fields booming hinh anh 1A farmer mans a combine harvester on a rice field (Photo: VNA)

Kien Giang (VNA) - The southwestern province of Kien Giang has set up 14 large-scale rice fields for growing crops in accordance with the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) standards as part of a four-year programme.

The model, first implemented in An Giang province for the 2010-11 winter-spring rice crop, has been expanded to other provinces.

More than 70 percent of rice grown in large-scale fields is of high-quality varieties.

Under the model, farming households whose fields are located near each other sow the same rice varieties on the same day and tend their fields using advanced farming techniques.

All rice paddies harvested on a large-scale field is purchased by companies that participate in the programme.

The companies supply the farmers with the seeds, fertiliser and other input materials.

Large-scale rice fields have a yield 15-20 percent higher than normal rice fields, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Plant Cultivation Department.

Large-scale rice fields also create specific rice-growing areas devoted to export, according to the Plant Cultivation Department.

Kien Giang, the country’s largest rice producer, produced more than 1.95 million tonnes of paddy for the winter-spring crop and for rice crops grown only once a year in the rainy season.

This was down more than 543,000 tonnes compared to the province’s target, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Prolonged drought and salt water intrusion in the dry season caused the decline in yield.

Kien Giang authorities have supported more than 463 billion VND (21million USD) for affected farmers to grow the summer-autumn and autumn-winter crops.

Kien Giang authorities have also told farmers to grow high-quality, short-term rice crops that are resistant to drought and salt water.

More than 840 households have taken part in the large-scale rice field programme in Vinh Thuan, U Minh Thuong, An Bien, Tan Hiep, Chau Thanh, Giang Thanh, Giong Rieng, Go Quao and Hon Dat districts.-VNA