In 2008, Tay Ninh became the first province to try out the “four-players collaboration” model (also known as the large-scale field model) and has so far achieved encouraging results. Since then, the large- scale field model has quickly become an attractive model, bringing farmers huge economic benefits, according to Vietnam Business Forum.

With 150,000 hectare of rice cultivation area,Tay Ninh province is the largest rice producing area in Southeast Vietnam. Before applying the large-scale field model, rice production in the province encountered various problems in rice growing seasons, rice varieties, and application of advanced technique in cultivation. To enhance production and compete with Mekong Delta provinces, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has directed Tay Ninh to adopt the model of four-players collaboration on rice crops, with support from the Cultivation Department, the Department of Plant Protection, the Institute for Agricultural Science for Southern Vietnam and especially from many pharmaceutical and fertiliser companies.

The model was first implemented in 2008 on an area of 36 ha (500 ha planned) with the participation of 21 farmers. The model continued to be implemented and replicated, and in 2013 it was introduced in six major districts of Tay Ninh and reached 5,400 ha/year (summer/autumn season alone reached 2,377 ha/crop).

Going through 13 seasons during six years of implementation, the model has been enlarged in scale and also its name has been changed from time to time to suit the reality, as well as the proposed objectives.

Thanks to the application of technology advances in breeding and cultivation, provincial rice yield has been increasing. In 2012, Tay Ninh yielded about 5 tonnes/ha on average, rice production reached 776,118 tonnes, realising the requirements of food production serving domestic demand and moving toward exportation.

Tay Ninh is currently producing three harvests a year, including winter/spring season with planting area from 42,000 to 45,000 ha, average yield of 5,070 kg/ha, rice production of 219,267 tonnes; summer/fall season with area from 51,000 to 52,000 ha, average yield of 4,650 kg/ha, rice production of 241,575 tonnes; and the main season with area from 56,000 to 57,500 ha, average yield 4,580 kg/ha, rice production 262,880 tonnes.

The training, consultancy and technical support for farmers currently are top concerns of the provincial agricultural sector. Participating farmers hold five meetings every season, of which three are training in cultivation, technology application, pest control and other general solution. Each week, technicians and farmers visit fields to help farmers identify pests on site, then consult and give technical support to help farmer solving problems encountered in production, thereby enhancing field-managing skills of farmers.
By now, the Big Field model has produced positive results in Tay Ninh. Farmers have changed the old farming practices, applying advanced technology in accordance with the cultivation of the model, saving production costs, improving productivity and rice quality, raising interest for farmers, contributing to food security towards a sustainable agriculture.

“Tay Ninh has adopted the Big Field model since 2008 and, the province has now created many productive rice fields. The Cultivation Department highly appraised these achievements. We considered Tay Ninh the pioneer in providing the foundation to develop the Big Field in the Southeast as well as other provinces," said Mr Pham Van Du, Deputy Director of the Cultivation Department, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Even though the province has achieved numerous encouraging results, the actual development of the Big Field in Tay Ninh remains difficult and challenging, including obstacles such as: unsteady output for farmers, dependent on traders, low prices; lack of specialised technical staff to guide people in participating in the large-scale field.

To overcome these limitations, in the future, Tay Ninh province decided to focus on strengthening the areas already implementing the large-scale field instead of extending the model to new communes and districts. At the same time, Tay Ninh will gradually transfer successfully implemented areas operating efficiently to district-level management, the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will act as operator; for 2014 this plan will be first conducted in Duong Minh Chau district.

Besides the rice crop, Tay Ninh province is also beginning to adopt the “ four- players collaboration ” model to other crops such as sugar cane, cassava and tobacco; expecting to make other spectacular breakthroughs, creating a comprehensive new look for the province's agriculture sector.-VNA