Straw is usually burned or buried as it is considered agricultural residue (Photo: VNA)

Can Tho (VNA) – The State-owned Song Hau Farm will ship straw to Japan under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) inked with the Japan Beef Import-Export Association (J-BIX) on November 18.

The straw will be used to make cattle feed and Japan’s traditional Tatami mats.

Meanwhile, the J-BIX pledges to provide financial aid through the Japanese Government’s official development assistance (ODA) for developing cattle raising at Song Hau farm.

Director of Song Hau Farm Nguyen Thanh Phu said the MoU has opened up a massive opportunity for the farm and other provinces in the Mekong Delta to export straw to Japan.

Most of straw in the region is usually burned or buried as it is considered agricultural residue, thus polluting the environment and farmland, he noted, stressing that the straw export will help increase farmers’ income and clean soil for the next crops.

The Song Hau Farm and neighbouring areas boast abundant sources of straw and are able to supply 250,000 tonnes of straw each year as demanded by the J-BIX. The farm expects to ship the first batches of straw to Japan shortly after the 2015-2016 winter-spring crop is harvested.

The J-BIX said it will support the Song Hau Farm with ODA capital, machinery and experts to ensure quality straw for export.

J-BIX vice chairman Yutaka Aoyama said Japan needs around 250,000 tonnes of straw to process cattle feed and produce Tatami mats a year, which were previously sourced from China.

The country decided to choose Vietnam as a straw supplier after Chinese straw failed to keep up with Japanese requirements, he added.-VNA