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Organic rice gets taste of success

Update: February, 07/2012 - 10:06

CA MAU — Hoa Sua organic fragrant rice in the southernmost province of Ca Mau has become the first organic rice produced in Viet Nam that meets EU and US standards.

The Vien Phu Organic and Healthy Foods Joint-Stock Corporation last Friday received two organic production certificates issued by the international Control Union Certifications for its Hoa Sua organic fragrant rice and other products.

Nguyen Dang Nghia, director of the Southern Region's Environment – Fertiliser – Land Research Centre, said Vien Phu was the only farm in Viet Nam that had received organic production certificates granted by both the US and the EU.

In 2009, Ca Mau authorities allocated 320ha of fallow land in U Minh District's Khanh An Commune for Vien Phu to set up a large-scale field with international production standards.

After three years of preparing the land, Vien Phu can now plant rice on 120 of 320ha.

Vo Minh Khai, general director of Vien Phu, said his company had invested more than VND30 billion (US$1.4 million) in the land to grow organic rice and vegetables using natural materials. Fish are also raised in the paddies.

The company breeds fish and ducks in rice fields and uses micro-organic fermentation to kill rice pests.

Although the yield of organic rice is still low for first crops, Vien Phu is expected to increase the productivity of organic rice to five tonnes in 2015 after more money is poured into the project, according to Khai.

The company annually exports 1,000 tonnes of Hoa Sua fragrant rice at a price of $10 a kilo, mostly to the US and the EU.

This year, Vien Phu expects to produce about 1,000 tonnes of various kinds of Hoa Sua organic fragrant rice, including white, red, purple and black rice.

The company plans to cooperate with 10,000-20,000 farm households that have a total of 10,000-20,000ha to grow the rice.

If local authorities support construction irrigation systems, Ca Mau Province can expand the area under organic rice cultivation to 100,000ha.

Le Dung, deputy director of the Ca Mau Province People's Committee, said the provincial administration would create conditions for Vien Phu to develop organic rice cultivation in Tran Van Thoi District. — VNS

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