|During last year's summer-autumn rice crop, 101 rice trading companies from 13 Mekong provinces signed deals with 88 co-operatives to buy rice grown on 42,605ha under the new model. — Photo cafef
CAN THO (VNS) — Growing areas should be clearly zoned and a national brand should be developed to promote rice from the Mekong Delta, a conference heard in Can Tho on Wednesday.
Pham Van Du, deputy chief of the agriculture ministry's Cultivation Department, told the conference on large-scale field production in the delta that improving the incomes of farmers and rice-trading businesses was among important measures to promote rice production.
Nguyen Quoc Viet, deputy head of the Steering Board for the Mekong Delta, said the new large-scale field rice production model was first introduced in the Mekong Delta in 2011, and the area under it had risen from 7,800 hectares in the beginning to 290,000ha by the end of 2014.
It had also helped improve the quality of the grains and value addition to make them more competitive in the domestic and overseas markets, he said.
The impact of the new model should be assessed and its likely challenges identified in the era of integration, he said.
The Government issued a decision in 2013 to encourage a switch to it.
During last year's summer-autumn rice crop, 101 rice trading companies from 13 Mekong provinces signed deals with 88 co-operatives to buy rice grown on 42,605ha under the new model.
The deputy head of the department, Pham Van Du, said: "The co-operatives established for the large-scale field production model are of great importance. They supply farmers with seeds, fertilisers and agricultural chemicals."
Nguyen Tri Ngoc, secretary of the Association of Agricultural Production and Rural Development, said despite a trade surplus in 2014, the country's agriculture had showed weaknesses.
"Its growth rates went down and the prices of its produce plunged, with the prices of some Vietnamese produce ranking seventh or ninth behind those from other countries.
To make the large-scale model more profitable, farmers must use rice varieties confirmed by trading businesses, he said.— VNS