Winter-spring rice yields big profits for farmers hinh anh 1Farmers work on a winter-spring rice paddy in the northwestern province of Dien Bien (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Farmers in the south have begun harvesting their winter-spring rice crop, earning large profits because of high yields and prices.

So far 300,000ha out of the 1.9 million hectares planted have been harvested, with the average yield being 5.9 tonnes per hectares, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In the Mekong Delta, the country’s rice granary, farmers have 1.55 million hectares under the crop, 2.6 percent higher than planned.

Paddy prices are up slightly from last month, according to the ministry.  

Low-quality IR50404, one of the main varieties grown in the delta, is now bought at 5,900 – 6,100 VND a kilogramme while high-quality grains such as OM 5451, OM 6976, OM 4218 fetch 6,400 – 6,600 VND.

Tran Van Het, who has 1ha under high-quality rice in Vinh Long province’s Tam Binh district, said he would harvest his paddy in the next few days but a trader has bought it all in advance.

Nguyen Van Dong, director of the Hau Giang province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said farmers would have a bumper harvest and get high prices.  

Traders offering to buy paddy in advance at high prices is a common practice now, he said.

With the current price of 6,000 VND for low-quality paddy and 7,400 VND for fragrant varieties, farmers would make a profit of more than 30 percent, he said.

Rice harvested later is expected to have even higher yields, he said.

Nguyen Van Tot, a member of the Bac Xa No Cooperative in Hau Giang’s Vi Thuy district, said: “Farmers here are very glad because companies have offered to buy Tai Thom 8 rice in advance since they sowed 300ha.”

The cooperative is one of the province’s first to grow organic rice.

Hau Giang is implementing a plan to improve the operation of cooperatives and cooperative teams and create links between farmers and companies to zone high-quality rice growing areas. 

It offers many incentives, including preferential loans and low land rents, to encourage companies to invest in agriculture.

In Hau Giang’s Chau Thanh district, local authorities have been supporting farmers who used advanced techniques to grow rice on 400ha for exports during this winter-spring crop.

Meanwhile, in the central and northern regions most farmers have finished sowing their nurseries for the winter-spring crop, according to the ministry.

By mid-February farmers from Thua Thien- Hue province to the north had planted seeds for sowing 935,000ha.

They are expected to finish transplanting by the end of this month.-VNA