The Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang has approved a ten-year plan to expand its large-scale rice field area to 29,010 hectares by 2025 with each field covering 300-1,000 hectares.

The large-scale field is a centralised production model that utilises coordination among farmers, businesses, scientists, and State agencies to facilitate the application of technology in cultivation, improving the value of agricultural products and farmer income.

To realise the objective, Soc Trang plans to spend 1.3 trillion VND (61.9 million USD) sourced from the State and local budgets and farmer investments.

It aims to put 90 percent of the rice area and output under contract with cultivation material suppliers and rice buyers. Additionally, more than 90 percent of harvest and post-harvest steps are set to be mechanised by 2025.

Under the plan, farmers will be given technical training and use certified seeds while working to reduce the high volume of seeds planted and limit the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers, the amount of irrigation water, and post-harvest losses.

The large-scale field model in Soc Trang, currently covering more than 10,000 hectares of land, has cut down production expenses by 12 percent, and raised productivity by 5-7 percent and profit by 20 percent compared to traditional planting methods.

The area of high-quality rice fields in Soc Trang exceeded 110,000 hectares, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the total rice growing area.

To support the improvement of rice quality and large-scale field expansion, the province has assisted local farmers to buy 250 combine harvesters (valued at around 500 million VND or 23,800 USD each), bringing the number of these machines to over 600.

The application of combines has lowered rice losses by 27,400 tonnes worth 137 billion VND (6.5 million USD) and labour costs by 200 billion VND (9.5 million USD).-VNA