Farmers harvest rice by using a combine harvester in Phu Tho's Lam Thao district (Photo: snnphutho.vn)

Phu Tho (VNA) – The northern province of Phu Tho has earmarked more than 230 billion VND (10.3 million USD) for agricultural restructuring towards the sector’s sustainable development until 2020.

The sum will be used to support tea, Dien grapefruit and high-quality rice cultivation, aquaculture and afforestation. Land consolidation, livestock waste treatment and good agricultural practices will also be assisted during the period, said the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Beneficiaries are cooperatives, cooperation groups, farms and farming households which are part of concentrated agricultural production areas.

Those who replace old tea varieties with new high-quality ones will be provided with as much as 8 million VND (nearly 360 USD) per hectare.

While a similar financial aid model will help the cultivation of the renowned Dien grapefruit. Up to 200 million VND (over 8,960 USD) will be allocated for building each seedling production garden of this variety.

Farmers who connect with one another to produce high-quality rice on at least 10 hectares of conjoined farmland and apply advanced machinery will be assisted by 900,000 VND (about 40 USD) per hectare to buy quality seeds, the department said.

It added that Phu Tho will finance 50 percent of biogas facility construction expenses to a maximum of 40 million VND (nearly 1,800 USD) for each farm raising at least 300 pigs.

Those farming aquatic species on at least 2.1 hectares of water surface can gain financial help, up to 5 million VND (224 USD) per hectare, to purchase juvenile fish.

Money will also be provided to support land consolidation and people who hire land to plant perennial trees or carry out large-scale agricultural production.

Between 2011 and 2015, Phu Tho spent 205 billion VND (9.2 million USD) on assisting key agricultural production programmes, the provincial department said.

It noted crop and aquatic production value reached 90 million VND (over 4,000 USD) per hectares last year, 1.7 times higher than that in 2010. As a result, local agriculture posted an annual growth rate of 5.09 percent during the period, contributing to local socio-economic development.-VNA