The World Bank will provide the Mekong Delta localities with a soft loan package worth 150 million USD to aid their bids to shape large-scale rice field models towards sustainable production.

The project is expected to start in 2015 at the first 25 district clusters which have been linked in rice production and sales.

Enterprises operating in farm production and export in the region could also borrow the capital to build rice storages and dryers.

According to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA), its 16 members have registered to participate in the project on a trial basis in the 2014 summer-autumn crop and the 2014-2015 winter-spring crop.

The VFA plans to have the participation of all its 100 member enterprises in the project.

The Mekong Delta, the country’s largest rice granary, comprises of 12 provinces and one centrally-run city with a total area of 40,000 square kilometres and a combined population of 18 million. It has been tasked with ensuring the country’s food security.

From now to 2030, the region is growing rice across an area of 1.8 million ha, more than half of which is for export. It is also striving to maintain an annual output of 24-25 million tonnes of rice.-VNA