The summer-autumn rice crop in southern localities has yielded a good harvest. (Photo: VNA)

Tay Ninh (VNA) – The summer-autumn rice crop in southern localities has yielded a good harvest, heard a conference held in the Mekong Delta province of Tay Ninh on July 20.

Reports from Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development in the south showed that the region planted 1.69 million hectares of rice, and expected an average yield of 5.63 tonnes per hectare. Total output was estimated at 9.51 million tonnes, up 279,700 tonnes from the same time last year.

The Mekong Delta, the country’s rice granary, grew 1.59 million hectares, down 12,600 hectares from last year’s crop while total yield was reckoned at 9.03 million tonnes, 251,700 tonnes higher than the previous summer-autumn crop.

Meanwhile, rice output in southeastern provinces was approximated at 480,000 tonnes, up 28,000 tonnes from the same crop last year.

The results were spurred by cooperation among the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development’s Department of Crop Production and Department of Irrigation, and provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development in guiding local farmers to cultivate rice crops at proper times and to prevent damage caused by abnormal weather.

High-quality varieties were chosen for plantation, of which fragrant rice accounted for 22.41 percent.

Local exporters won a line-up of contracts, freeing farmers from worrying about rice consumption.

Each kilogramme of rice was sold at an average 5,500-5,700 VND.

As farmers have just harvested a third of the crop, they should pay due attention to protecting their crops from diseases, experts advised.

In the autumn-winter crop, the southern provinces plan to cultivate 978,000 hectares of rice and expects a yield of 5.1 million tonnes of the grain.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said Mekong Delta provinces should consider proper time for rice cultivation as an early flood season has been forecast. Fragrant rice should be prioritised to bring high productivity, he added.

On the occasion, the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute inked cooperation deals with agricultural cooperatives in seven Mekong Delta provinces, under which they will join hands to produce high-quality rice varieties.-VNA