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HCM City to persist with new urban farming model

Update: January, 18/2014 - 09:25
The city had around 2,090ha under flower and ornamental tree cultivation last year, up 4 per cent over 2012.— Photo stox
HCM CITY (VNS)  — The agricultural sector will strive to maintain growth of over 6 per cent in agro-forestry and fisheries production this year, according to the HCM City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City this week, the department's director Nguyen Phuoc Trung said: "Despite facing many difficulties, the city's agro-forestry and fisheries sectors grew by 6.1 per cent last year, which was 2.07 times higher than the country's average figure."

The production value of the cultivation sector grew by 3.7 per cent, the animal husbandry sector by 4.2 per cent and the seafood sector by 9.9 per cent, he said.

This was a result of following an urban agricultural model, reducing rice-growing areas of low productivity, and increasing the area for cultivating high-value ornamental trees and safe vegetables as well as dairy farming.

Vegetable cultivation last year reached 14,714ha, up 1.8 per cent over 2012, of which 14,420ha was devoted to clean vegetable cultivation, a year-on-year increase of 1.8 per cent.

The city had around 2,090ha under flower and ornamental tree cultivation last year, up 4 per cent over 2012, he said.

In addition, Trung said the city had a total of 125,141 cows, a year-on-year increase of 10.3 per cent. Of that number, 99,451 heads are milk cows, producing about 257,576 tonnes of fresh milk, accounting for 61 per cent of the country's total fresh milk volume.

The city also has 335,600 pigs and 187,500 crocodiles, he said, adding that total seafood output went up by 11.8 per cent over the previous year.

"Last year, average revenue per hectare under agricultural production in the city reached VND282 million per year, up VND43 million compared to 2012," he said.

To achieve the target set for this year, Trung said the city would continue its agricultural restructuring programme towards urban agriculture, especially enhancing the application of hi-tech methods including biotechnology in production to provide safe and high quality products.

It will speed up investment in key agricultural projects such as a hi-tech agricultural park, the bio-technology centre and flood and storm prevention and control projects as well as projects to prevent the intrusion of saltwater, he said.

The city will also support agricultural producers and traders in building brands and websites to promote their products.

Le Thanh Liem, deputy chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, asked the city agricultural sector to focus more on helping farmers with production technology.

He called for closer co-operation between enterprises, farmers and co-operatives to ensure stable outlets for agricultural produce. — VNS

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