|President Truong Tan Sang attends the 38th anniversary of the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute in Can Tho City yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
CAN THO (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang encouraged the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute to master cutting-edge technologies, especially biotechnology, to become a leader amongst agricultural science institutes in Southeast Asia.
Speaking at the 38th anniversary of the institute in Can Tho City yesterday, Sang asked the establishment to forge ahead with modern approaches to cultivation, processing and preservation technologies to develop new high-yielding varieties of rice.
The institute must also equip farmers with the latest knowledge; increase training courses; build safe and high-tech production zones for farm produce; and strive for strong and comprehensive agricultural development in the delta and the nation at large, he added.
Established in 1977, the institute has helped the agricultural sector develop high-yield, disease-resistant varieties; raise the region's total rice output to 25 million tonnes per year from 4.2 million tonnes in 1976; and contribute to national food security. The institute was lauded for its contributions to making Viet Nam one of today's top rice exporters in the world.
Sang also had a working session with the Steering Committee for the southwest region yesterday, at which he asked local authorities to focus on improving human resources and more effectively utilising investment capital to reduce the public debt and restructure the economy.
The Mekong delta region should focus on high-added value, competitive products, increasing the income of farmers, and preparing to handle emergencies in order to fulfill 2015's socio-economic targets, he said.
In 2014, the region recorded an economic growth of 8.9 percent, a per capita income of VND38 million (US$1,809) and generated 330,000 jobs. — VNS