The Mekong Delta plans to promote large-scale paddy fields on 1.2 million hectares with a specific focus on commercial value and quality for exports, according to the Southwest Region Steering Committee.

According to the plan, the delta will reduce its total rice cultivation area from 4.25 million hectares to 4 million hectares per year, while stabilising output at 24.5 million tonnes from 2015-2020.

The Mekong Delta provinces will also use certified high-yield varieties to improve the average annual output from 5.9 to 6.2 tonnes per hectare.

Additionally, the region will apply advanced farming technologies in rice cultivation to increase yields and economic value, while switching to higher value crops, like corn and soybeans, and aquaculture in low-yield rice paddies.

Nguyen Phong Quang, Standing Deputy Head of the Southwest Region Steering Committee, said the delta will improve its irrigation and dykes system to cope with climate change, whilst supplying irrigational and drinking water. The flood-control system in the areas of the Tien River and Hau River will also be upgraded to ensure sustainable rice development in the near future.-VNA