Additional 200,000 ha to be planted in Mekong Delta to ensure export supply.
Rice output from the winter-spring rice crop fell significantly because of drought and salinity but with an additional 200,000 ha to be planted in the Mekong Delta there will be sufficient stocks for exports, according to the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute.
As many as 180,000 ha of the winter-spring rice crop in the Mekong Delta were damaged by drought and saltwater intrusion.
The Delta is expected to yield 10.94 million tons of paddy from the crop, down 186,144 tons against last year’s crop.
Professor Nguyen Hong Son, Director of the Rice Research Institute, said output from the winter-spring crop fell by 10 to 15 per cent but localities plan to increase their cultivation areas for the autumn-winter crop by 200,000 ha, which should provide enough to cover exports.
With drought and saltwater intrusion expected to continue, Kien Giang province, in cooperation with relevant agencies, has adopted urgent measures such as building dams made from Larsen steel to prevent saltwater intrusion into fields and save thousands of hectares of rice to be harvested shortly. This will also help protect upcoming rice crops.
Mr. Nguyen Van Tam, Director of the Kien Giang Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said it has set a target of 4.7 million tons of rice this year. Due to drought and saltwater intrusion, however, output is down by more than 200,000 tons.
To compensate for falling output the province’s agricultural sector will increase its cultivation area for the autumn-winter rice crop by 30,000 ha, to 120,000 ha, he said.
At a recent meeting to review the winter-spring rice crop and set tasks for the next crop, held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, those in attendance agreed that with localities increasing rice cultivation areas the poor winter-spring crop will not have a major impact on rice supplies for export.