Mekong Delta summer- autumn rice output to go up slightly: authorities hinh anh 1Farmers harvest rice planted under the smart rice farming model in Hau Giang province’s Vi Thuy district (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - The Mekong Delta, the country’s rice granary, will see summer – autumn rice output increase by 150,000 tonnes this year, the Plant Cultivation Department has estimated. 

Output is expected to be 8.95 million tonnes.

Farmers in the delta have already harvested 1.05 million hectares with an average yield of 5,700 kilogrammes per hectare, up 100kg from last year.

The delta expects to complete harvesting 1.57 million hectares by early next month.

In Dong Thap province, farmers have harvested about 70 percent of the crop.

Nguyen Phuoc Thien, deputy director of its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the average yield would be 6,050kg per hectare.

Le Thanh Tung, deputy head of the Plant Cultivation Department, said the delta has enjoyed favourable factors this year.

The floods were less severe and the rainfall was less and came later than in previous years, he explained.

So the harvest has not been affected by floodwaters and late rains would not damage the crop, he said.

The crop has not been affected by drought or saltwater intrusion either.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has recommended that the delta’s 12 provinces and Can Tho city should grow the upcoming autumn - winter rice crop on 750,000ha marginally more than last year.

In Dong Thap and An Giang, the delta’s upstream provinces, farmers do not grow the third rice crop in many localities to enable release of floodwaters into rice fields to kill pathogens and improve soil fertility.

Dong Thap has encouraged farmers to replace rice with other high-value crops on low-yield fields.

Farmers who grow lotus earn 50 – 100 million VND (2,155 – 4,310 USD) per hectare, two or three times the income from rice.

Authorities across the delta encourage farmers to grow high-quality rice varieties and adopt farming models that use advanced farming techniques or are meant to adapt to climate-change such as rice – shrimp farming. 

Ca Mau province has instructed farmers who rotate between rice and shrimp farming on the same field to grow high-quality rice varieties that are resistant to saltwater this rainy season.

The high-quality varieties include OM 5451, OM 6162, Camau 1, Camau 2, ST20, and ST24.

The province plans to have 38,000ha under the model this rainy season, with 500ha being to organic standards.

The province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is establishing tie – ups between various players in the production chain of specialty rice varieties ST 20 and ST 24, which are planted on 5,000ha in Thoi Binh, U Minh and Tran Van Thoi districts and Ca Mau city. – VNS/VNA