CAN THO (VNS)— Well-developed irrigation systems in Mekong (Cuu Long) Delta have played a key role in agricultural and fishery production and the ongoing shifting of the regions' economic structure, speakers pointed out at a conference held yesterday in Can Tho.
|A breeder feeds shrimp in the southern province of Soc Trang's My Xuyen District. Well-developed irrigation system have helped expand seafood breeding operations in the Mekong Delta. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
The conference was organised by the Southwestern Steering Committee and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development yesterday in Can Tho.
In 1995, when the irrigation system was poorly developed, average agricultural productivity was only 4.1 tonnes per ha, and paddy yield 12.8 million tonnes.
Since 1996, paddy productivity has increased sharply. Last year, productivity reached an average of 5.6 tonnes per ha, with total production of 23.1 million tonnes.
The region now has five reservoirs, 1,221 pump stations, 11,138 kilometres of canals, more than 25,900 kilometres of dykes, and sea dykes measuring a total of 460 kilometres in length.
These works help bring water to nearly 4 million ha of farmland every year.
The irrigation system has also helped expand aquacultural farms in the area.
In 1995, the region had a total of 289,200 ha of water surface, with aquaculture productivity of 267,000 tonnes.
Last year, the region had nearly 740,000 ha of water surface for fish and shrimp cultivation.
The Delta has identified priority projects, programmes and implementation plans through 2020 and to 2050.
A few months ago, the Government also issued a irrigation development plan for the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta that would help the area adapt to climate change and higher sea-levels.
The plan aims to gradually improve the irrigation systems, water supply, drainage, flood control and salinity control for 1.8 million ha of rice-farming land in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.
The plan also calls for the completion of a system of sea dykes and river dykes, and regulation of the sewerage system to maintain fresh water and prevent salinity. — VNS