Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Five provinces in the Cà Mau Peninsula along with Cần Thơ City will strengthen linkages for sustainable production of rice and shrimp, the area’s key products.
The Cà Mau Peninsula sub-region, which covers 1.6 ha in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta, comprises Cà Mau, Bạc Liêu, Sóc Trăng and Kiên Giang provinces and parts of Hậu Giang Province and Cần Thơ City.
The sub-region produces about 486,000 ha of black-tiger shrimp, with annual output of 215,000 tonnes. Its rice production accounts for about 35 per cent of the delta’s rice.
Speaking at a seminar held in Cà Mau Province on Thursday, Lê Văn Sử, deputy chairman of the Cà Mau Province People’s Committee, said the lack of linkages had led to unhealthy competition among the sub-region provinces.
The lack of linkages has also led to difficulty in managing the quality of agricultural produce from production to sales, and a situation in which farmers face price declines after they have good harvests.
“The sub-region’s advantages are rice and shrimp. However, lack of production infrastructure and inadequate application of science and technology in agricultural production have resulted in unsustainable development of agricultural production,” he said.
Trần Thanh Nam, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the sub-region should establish linkages to deal with saline intrusion and land sinking caused by groundwater exploitation and the decline in flow of the Mekong River during the dry season.
The sub-region provinces should choose infrastructure projects which directly serve their linkages and petition for priority funding, he said.
Participants at the seminars said the sub-region should implement solutions at the same time, including zoning.
After developing stable zoning plans, the sub-region provinces should support farmers to increase their production scale and co-operation capacity.
Brand names, trade and market promotions, production and supply chains should be created for each product, they said.
The sub-region will work together to build large infrastructure projects, including the Cái Lớn and Cái Bé sluice gates in Kiên Giang Province to prevent saline intrusion and maintain fresh water, according to the Southern Irrigation Institute.
The sub-region will also dredge canals to take fresh water from the Hậu River to its provinces, especially to Cà Mau.
Nguyễn Trung Hiếu, deputy head of the Southwest Region Steering Committee, has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to add the sub-region’s key products and infrastructure projects that link the Mekong Delta and the sub-region to the ministry’s five-year action plan. — VNS