Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
- Some 120,138 ha of rice fields affected by a lack of water and saltwater intrusion in the southern region will be used to grow other crops in 2018, according to the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Corn, peanut, soybean, vegetables and fruits were grown on 16,500 ha of rice fields in the region in the 2017-2018 winter-spring crop.

Growing fruits such as orange, grapefruit, longan, mango, rambutan, dragon fruit and durian in rice paddies in the south is becoming more popular because they have higher economic efficiency.

Notably, in Vinh Long, Nam Roi grapefruit yields an income of about nearly 670 million VND (29,000 USD) per hectare per year, while for longan and orange they are 446 million VND (19,534 USD) and 370 million VND (16,300 USD), respectively, many times more valuable than rice, the department said.

In recent years, the MARD and authorities of localities have promoted switching crops on rice land areas affected by lack of water.

The work helps diversify products and provide higher incomes for farmers.

In the context of climate change and prolonged drought, the switch also helps save irrigation water.-VNA