AN GIANG — Doan Van Ket in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of An Giang earned an unusually high profit of VND88 million (US$4,100) from harvesting his 2.6ha of rice from the winter-spring rice crop after taking part in the Delta's first rice-production model project.
Farmers in Thoai Son District, An Giang Province will soon benefit from a new rice production model.—VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong
"This is the first time in my life I have got such high profits from planting rice," said Ket, who has harvested about 20.8 tonnes of fragrant rice and sold it for VND6,300 a kilo to the An Giang Plant Protection Company.
Ket is one of 458 farmer households in Chau Thanh District's Vinh Binh Commune who participated in the Vinh Binh large-scale rice field launched by the An Giang Plant Protection Company.
Under the project, which covers an area of 1,070ha, the farmers planted their rice on the same day and tendered their rice fields with clean-production techniques taught to them by company officials.
The company also supplies rice seed and fertiliser in advance to farmers without interest and buys all harvested paddy from the participants of the project.
When farmers harvest their paddy, the company comes to their fields, provides bags for farmers, and transports the paddy from the fields to the company's Vinh Binh Rice Processing Plant. The plant dries paddy free of charge for farmers.
If farmers do not sell their dried paddy to the plant after harvest and prefer to wait for paddy prices to go up later, the company will allow farmers to store their paddy at the plant's warehouse for up to one month without calculating a rental cost.
The Vinh Binh Rice Processing Plant, which was built under the production model, is capable of husking 1,000 tonnes of paddy a day for export.
Nguyen Tien Dung, director of the Vinh Binh Rice Processing Plant, said all 485 farmer households made a high profit.
"The production cost of 1 kilo of paddy is only VND2,200 while it cost about VND3,200-3,500 in other fields," Dung told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
"After harvesting their paddy, the farmers sell their paddy to the company for VND6,300-6,700 a kg and earn a profit of 200 per cent," he said.
Huynh Van Thon, the company's general director, said the production model was created to address concerns of farmers about rice outlets and better profits.
His company also wanted to buy a large quantity of rice of consistent quality for exports.
Most farmers in the area of the large rice field were enthusiastic about taking part in the production model, Thon said.
Because paddy was planted under clean production techniques, enterprises pledged to buy the company's rice for US$20 per tonne higher than the normal market price, he said.
The company also buys paddy from the farmers at a higher price.
Following the company's large-scale rice crop, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development last month launched a programme to implement similar models in the entire Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, the country's rice granary.
Under the programme, for this year's summer-autumn rice crop, each Delta province will plant a pilot field and will later expand the field with more farmers who will work together in large production organisations.
Currently, each farmer household in the Delta has an average rice field of 0.5ha, making it hard for them to earn a decent profit, according to Pham Van Du, deputy head of the ministry's Crop Cultivation Department.
When farmers plant their rice separately, they have to pay money for ploughing land and harvesting, purchase fertilisers and pesticides on credit, and pay interest.
Thus, it was difficult to sell their rice at a good price, Du said.
When they worked together in an organisation, these issues would be less of a concern, he said.
Thon said his company in May would open two large-scale rice fields in Long An Province's Vinh Hung District and An Giang's Thoai Son District.
The two large-scale rice fields each would cover an area of about 1,000ha and then would be expanded to dozens of thousands of ha, he said. — VNS