The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang on August 14 held a symposium reviewing the exploitation and socio-economic development of the low-lying area of Dong Thap Muoi since 1976.

Dong Thap Muoi (or Plain of Reeds) covers more than 690,000ha of land, accounting for some 17.7 percent of the Mekong Delta’s natural area. The area, with nearly 40 percent originally alkaline soil, spreads over Tien Giang, Long An and Dong Thap provinces.

Rice output in the area now contributes largely to the total volume of this farm produce in the Mekong Delta region – Vietnam’s rice hub.

Reports by scientists from southern research institutes and universities highlighted experience in reclaiming marshland and building dykes in Dong Thap Muoi for raising crops and livestock and developing trade and services.

Thanks to those efforts over the past four decades, the part of Dong Thap Muoi in Tien Giang became Tan Phuoc district, a dynamic administrative unit in the northwest of the province.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Khang said after 20 years of establishment, Tan Phuoc has made development breakthroughs.

Notably, it has created a 15,000ha area specialising in growing pineapples with an annual output of some 250,000 tonnes. The district also owns nearly 5,000ha of high-yield rice, 1,200ha of food crops and 3,500ha of forest trees, he added.

Local per capita income increased almost 10 times in the period from 1995 to 2013 while the rate of household poverty dropped from 45 percent to 11.4 percent, the official noted.

Tran Huu Thang, a lecturer at the Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City, said effective irrigation measures, including building a canal system, play the greatest role in land reclamation, thus creating a stepping stone to local development.-VNA