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Rice production thrives with large-scale fields

Update: November, 12/2015 - 08:00
A large-scale rice field in the Central Highland province of Dak Lak. The area of large-scale fields has crossed 550,000ha, with rice production thriving but also slowly expanding to other crops. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh

HCM CITY (VNS) — The area under large-scale fields has increased significantly in the last two years after the Government began implementing Decision No 62/2013 on encouraging co-operation and linkages in production and consumption of farm produce, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Speaking at a review meeting in HCM City on Tuesday, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said the area of large-scale fields has crossed 550,000ha, with rice production thriving but also other crops are slowly expanding.

"The large-scale field became a site for collaboration and connection between enterprises and organisations representing farmers, for technology transfer and for providing public services, especially agricultural training."

Le Duc Thinh, deputy head of the Department of Co-operative Economy and Rural Development, said as part of the large-scale fields programme companies have signed production and consumption contracts with farmers, creating a steady source of agricultural raw materials for export, and helped farmers feel secure about their production.

The programme has enabled farmers to join hands to increase yields and reduce costs, he said.

But the meeting heard that despite encouraging results, the programme faces difficulties.

Thinh said a lack of funds for developing large-scale fields, cumbersome procedures for assistance, and poor production infrastructure are among the hurdles to the development of large-scale fields.

Delegates also said the programme is suitable only for rice and not other crops, and the Government should consider amending it.

Nam admitted that the programme has been making slow progress, with the number of contracts linking production and consumption of agricultural products remaining low.

Thinh said only 11 out of the country's 63 cities and provinces have announced policies to encourage linking production and consumption of farm produce, and some 10 have approved zoning plans for large-scale fields.

Large-scale fields account for just 4 per cent of the country's total cultivable area, he said.

The ministry plans to urge the Government to address shortcomings in Decision No 62 as well as Decree No 15, which guides implementation of the decision, he said.

It would also urge the Government to allow local authorities to make zoning plans for large-scale fields based on local conditions, he said.

It would seek policies to encourage the establishment of concentrated animal breeding, aquaculture and forestry areas and linkages between production and consumption in these sectors, he said.

Nam said linkages between agricultural production and consumption and building large-scale fields are the inevitable direction the country's agriculture would take in future. — VNS

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