As the nation’s key rice producer, the Mekong Delta has been tasked with ensuring the country’s food security, according to the Southwestern Steering Committee.

From now to 2030, the region is growing rice on an area of 1.8 million ha, more than half of which is for export. It is also striving to maintain an annual output of 24-25 million tonnes of rice.

Coastal provinces in particular will apply a model that combines rice cultivation and fish and shrimp breeding on an area of 200,000 ha in the future.

They plan to use more than 110,000 ha of land for growing maize and soya bean to supply materials for the domestic processing industry.

Local authorities and scientific agencies have worked together to create new high yielding varieties that are able to adapt to climate change and are disease resistant.

They have also promoted the mechanisation of farm work, popularised sustainable farming techniques, and expanded areas for clean rice, altogether to cater for the increasing demand on local consumption and export.

From 2015 onwards, the region plans to multiply cultivation under the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards to achieve at least 40 percent clean rice, as well as reform technology to generate high returns from processed rice products.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, total rice consumption will be increased to 35 million tonnes by 2020 and 37 million tonnes by 2030 as the nation’s population is estimated to rise to 100 million and 110 million respectively.

The Mekong Delta region comprises of 12 provinces and a centrally-run city with a total area of 40,000 square kilometres and a population of 18 million.-VNA