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Rice production grows despite harsh El Nino

Update: December, 26/2015 - 10:55
Farmers harvest rice in Long Chu Commune, Chau Thanh District, Tay Ninh Province. Viet Nam's year rice production this year is estimated at about 45.2 million tonnes, 230,000 tonnes higher than the target, despite the adverse weather effects of El Nino. — VNA/VNS Photo Le Duc Hoanh
HA NOI  (VNS) — Viet Nam's rice production this year is estimated at about 45.2 million tonnes, 230,000 tonnes higher than the target, despite the adverse weather effects of El Nino.

This was heard at a conference to review the performance of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in 2015 in Ha Noi on Thursday.

Around 50,000 hectares of land for rice cultivation in the central region were hit by severe droughts this year, of which 10,000 hectares had to be shifted to more drought-resistant crops, Ma Quang Trung, head of the ministry's Cultivation Department, said.

Meanwhile, more than 9,000 rice hectares in southern provinces have been seriously affected by saltwater intrusion, he added.

Yet average output rose by 0.1 per cent to 57.7 quintals per hectare, making up for the damaged areas.

The increase was attributed to timely weather forecasts and accurate analysis of the situation from the ministry.

In addition, maize output surged by 378,000 tonnes to 50.54 million tonnes this year.

The ministry also reported the country earned VND82.5 million (US$3,661) per hectare of cultivable land, up VND3.8 million ($168) from 2014.

According to the National Hydro-Meteorological Service, the El Nino pattern in 2015 and 2016 will be as serious as the record pattern, 1997 to 1998, but will be longer and cover a wider area.

The rainy season began later and will end earlier than in previous years. Rainfall is also predicted to be much lower than average. — VNS

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