Tra Vinh focuses on developing quality seeds, seedlings hinh anh 1Vegetables grown in a net house using hydroponics in Tra Vinh province's Chau Thanh district. (Photo: VNA)

Tra Vinh (VNS/VNA) -
The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh is seeking to develop quality seeds for its key agricultural produce to improve their quality and competitiveness.

Agriculture is a key economic sector with the province having more than 180,000ha of arable lands, or 78 percent of its total area.

The province administration has a number of policies related to funding, infrastructure and techniques to enable seed producing establishments to expand.

But most remain small and local farmers have to buy large volumes of seeds from elsewhere, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The province’s key agricultural items include rice, shrimp, fish, vegetables, fruits, and coconuts.

Speaking at a recent seminar, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Van Han said the province seeks to develop organic and biological farming and adopt advanced farming techniques for its key items.

Therefore, the demand for quality seeds is very high since they are an important factor in improving yield and quality, he said.

An agriculture restructuring plan seeks to grow organic rice on 2,500ha, clean rice on 20,000ha, vegetables on 13,000ha, and specialty fruits on 3,100ha by 2030, according to the department.

The province also plans to develop 8,000ha of coconut, carry out super-intensive farming of white-legged shrimp on 1,100ha, farm black tiger shrimp on 5,000ha, river giant prawns and mud crabs on 15,000ha and clams on 2,300ha.

To secure enough high-quality seeds for the agriculture restructuring plan, the People’s Committee should invest in infrastructure for seed producing areas that have been zoned and earmark new areas, participants told the seminar.    

Le Truong Son, deputy head of the province Plant Protection and Cultivation Sub-department, said seed production faces limitations and farmers find it hard to access quality seeds and advanced farming techniques.

Meanwhile, low-quality seeds are sold in large quantities in the market, badly affecting farmers who buy them, he said.

Authorities should improve oversight to improve the quality of the seeds, he added.

The province has 29 businesses that grow and sell seedlings, 50 establishments that breed and sell young of poultry, cows and goats and 133 others that produce fry of aquatic species like shrimp, fish, and eel.

They can supply 60 percent of the local demand for rice seeds and 20 percent of the demand for vegetable seeds, while for black shrimp and cattle, it is 26 – 33 percent, according to the sub-department./.