farmers reap bumper harvest
|Farmers from the Can
Dang Commune in the southern province of Can Tho harvest rice. —
VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HCM CITY — Farmers in
the Mekong Delta are harvesting a bumper winter-spring rice crop this year,
which was badly needed because of the losses incurred from the brown planthopper
Local farmers in Dong
Thap, Tien Giang, Soc Trang and Vinh Long provinces said the average output was
5.5 to 6.5 tonnes of rice per hectare, 0.5 tonnes per hectare higher than last
year. In some areas, the rice output is up to 7 tonnes per hectare.
Nguyen Minh Tam, head of
Thap Muoi District’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said
local farmers are happier because rice was selling at an attractive VND3,000 a
Bui Van Su, a local farmer
in My Quy commune, Dong Thap Province, said that with the rising price, he had
earned a profit of VND30 million (US$1,800) per hectare, a record level for the
last three years.
In Dong Thap and Vinh Long
Provinces, local farmers are also rejoicing, earning an average profit of
VND20,000 per hectare from selling fragrant rice.
Deputy Minister of
Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong attributed the succesful rice crop
harvest before Tet to the agricultural sector’s and farmers’ joint efforts
to stamp out the planthopper pest epidemic, saving tens of thousands of hectares
Farmers have converted to
pest-resistant strains, and have sprayed pesticides, guided by agronomists.
In Thap Muoi District,
Dong Thap Province, local farmers have destroyed ricefields plagued by the pest
to prevent spreading of the disease to surrounding paddy fields, thus protecting
34,000 hectares of winter – spring crop.
Nguyen Van Khang, director
of Tien Giang Agricultural and Rural Development Department, however, urged
local farmers to wash rice fields after harvesting and plant rice seedlings on
schedule to reap a plentiful crop.
The Trade Ministry plans
to export 4 million tonnes of rice in 2007. If the coming crops are good, it is
expected to increase rice exports to 4.5 million tonnes.
The ministry said the rice
market in Asia had been active in the early months of 2007. The Philippines
bought as many as 1.65 million tonnes of rice from Asian countries in 2006,
chiefly from Viet Nam. Rice shipments to the Philippines are expected to be
higher than in 2007.
In addition to the
Philippine market, Vietnamese rice exporters plan to sell 150,000-170,000 tonnes
of rice to Japan, signalling a bigger rice demand from the Asian market,
including Indonesia — VNS