Illustrative Image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Southern localities have harvested nearly 962,000 hectares of total rice farmed in the summer-autumn crop this year, equivalent to 88.7 percent of the same crop last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The ministry reported that Mekong Delta provinces have completed the harvesting of 883,000 hectares.

This year, rice productivity reached 5.4 tonnes per hectares, 0.03 tonnes higher than the previous year, but production was 23,000 tonnes lower, at 11.2 million tonnes, due to a decrease in rice farming area, according to the ministry.

The drought affecting Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan early this year made farmers change from rice cultivation to growing other crops due to a fear of water shortages. Meanwhile, rice growing areas in some localities were damaged by floods.

The sharpest decrease was seen in Ninh Thuan with 2,600 hectares; Binh Thuan with 1,300 hectares; Ha Tinh, 1,800 hectares; and Nghe An, 700 hectares.

Sewing and harvest time in the summer-autumn crop this year was also later than last year, affecting the progress of the winter-spring crop.

In the summer-autumn crop, total rice area across the country exceeded 2.04 million hectares, equivalent to 97.3 percent of the previous year, including 166,700 hectares in the north and more than 1.87 million hectares in the south.-VNA