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Southern provinces target bumper rice crop

Update: March, 20/2013 - 09:53

CAN THO (VNS)— The southern provinces target total output of nearly 10.1 million tonnes of rice in the 2013 summer-autumn crop, an increase of nearly 323 tonnes compared with the output of the same crop last year.

The total output includes over 9.35 million tonnes of rice harvested in the Mekong Delta, according to figures released at a meeting held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Can Tho City yesterday.

To reach these targets, the Mekong province will have nearly 1.7 million hectares and the southeast provinces nearly 148.100 ha under the ongoing summer-autumn rice crop.

The Mekong Delta targets average output of 5.54 tonnes per ha while the southeast provinces want 5.05 tonnes per ha.

Farmers from the Mekong Delta and the Southeast region have been advised not to use medium- and low-quality rice variety because low-quality rice does not sell well in the local and overseas markets.

They have been instructed to plant high-quality rice variety and fragrant rice which can be exported for high prices.

Farmers are also encouraged to apply new technologies to cut costs; to use machinery and equipment for harvesting; and to apply post-harvest drying techniques to reduce losses and to ensure high quality for their products.

Major rice varieties encouraged to be planted include OM 4218, OM 2517, Jasmine 85, OM 4900, OM 6976, OM 6162, ML 48 and others.

According to the Southern Hydro-Meteorology Bureau, farmers will face difficulties in the 2013 summer-autumn crop as the weather is not favourable.

In early March, thousands of hectares under the spring-summer crop (or the early summer-autumn rice crop) in the Mekong Delta have dried up or faced water shortages due to the intrusion of salt water in the region.

Insects also damaged dozens of thousands of hectares under the spring-summer rice crop. Forecasts say there will be five attacks of insects between March and July.

Authorities have been asked to supervise the sowing and planting schedules of farmers in the Mekong Delta and southeast regions to avoid insects and pests.

Provincial authorities have also been asked to manage and repair irrigation networks to ensure watering the summer-autumn rice crop. —VNS

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