|The provincial government expects the project will help farmers become more economically efficient and thus limit their cultivation expenses.— Photo canthotv
DONG THAP (VNS) — The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap plans to level 100 square kilometres of land using laser technology to create large-scale paddy fields of thousands of hectares.
The project, which will be carried out until the end of 2015 or early 2016, is an effort of the Dong Thap Province's People's Committee and a South Korean corporation with funds from Official Development Assistance (ODA) from South Korea.
The provincial government expects the project will help farmers become more economically efficient and thus limit their cultivation expenses.
The cleared land will be divided between several paddy fields of 1,000ha each. They will be managed by households in the province's northern districts of Tam Nong, Tan Hong, Thanh Binh, Thap Muoi, and others. The area involves 9,000 households in the districts.
According to the provincial agricultural sector, the province has a total of 225,220 hectares of land for paddy cultivation.
Of the province's total 156,679 households, more than 70 per cent cultivate paddy on less than one hectare of land, and more than 12 per cent of the households own one to two hectares of paddy farmland.
Nguyen Van Duong, chairman of Dong Thap Province's People's Committee, was quoted in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper as saying that the large fields created favourable conditions for mechanisation in paddy cultivation.
Upon realising the project, expenses for fertiliser, labour and water would be saved.
Productivity and rice quality would be improved, Duong added.
Nguyen Van Cong, director of Dong Thap Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that when farmers agreed to combine their land for large-scale production, rice quality would be improved and enterprises would sign contracts to purchase rice.
With traditional production methods, farmers were forced to sell their paddy to traders at unfair prices, he added.
Currently, there are several cooperatives cultivating paddy on large-scale fields such as Tan Cuong, Tan Tien and others.
For Pham Van Tuan Hai, a farmer who combined his fields for a large-scale farm at Tan Cuong Cooperative, the model has saved him at least VND1 million (US$50) per hectare, while paddy productivity and rice quality has improved. — VNS