HCM CITY (VNS) — Large-scale sugarcane fields that use machinery for cultivation have brought high yields and profits for farmers in three districts in the central province of Phu Yen.
Under the pilot model, farmers have also received instruction in cultivation techniques of new high-yield sugarcane varieties.
Nguyen Trinh in Song Hinh District's Ea Ly Commune said he had planted the K95-156 sugarcane variety and harvested 112.6 tonnes per ha for the 2013-14 crop.
The province's average sugarcane yield is usually only 60 tonnes per ha.
Farmer Huynh Thai Binh in Dong Xuan District's Xuan Quang 1 Commune said it was the first time he had cultivated sugarcane on a large-scale area with mechanisation.
For the 2013-14 sugarcane crop, the model programme was carried out on 10-ha fields in Song Hinh, Son Hoa and Dong Xuan districts in the province.
Using machines to fertilise sugarcane and clearing of weeds in fields helped farmers save about VND2.5 million (US$120) per ha.
"This model saved labour costs and helped us to clear weeds," Binh said.
Nguyen Thanh, deputy director of the Phu Yen Agriculture and Fishery Extension Centre, said mechanisation had helped cut labour costs.
Farmers have had average profits of VND62.3 million ($2,960) per ha, about VND18.5 million ($880) per ha more than for small-scale fields cultivated by hand.
However, farmers said the cost of machinery was high, and urged local authorities to provide them with soft loans.
The province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development plans to develop this model in other areas of the province. —VNS