Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Provinces in the Đồng Tháp Mười (Plain of Reeds) region should embrace agricultural technology and modern techniques to reduce costs and improve efficiency, according to the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta Development Research Institute.
Đồng Tháp Mười, the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta’s floodplain, spreads over nearly 700,000ha and comprises Long An, Tiền Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces.
Speaking at a conference on promoting investment and consumption of agricultural products in Đồng Tháp Mười held in Long An last Saturday, Đặng Kiều Nhân of the institute said agriculture in the area, mainly based on intensive farming and exploiting natural resources, is likely to reach its upper limit.
“Profits and revenues from rice production have not increased, while the socio-economic and environmental challenges are increasing.
“Besides, demand for agricultural products have become more diverse, with higher quality requirements both in domestic and export markets.
“Therefore, agriculture in the region needs to change to adapt to the situation.”
It should focus on developing agricultural services and modern farming to add value, he said.
Nguyễn Văn Được, deputy chairman of Long An Province, said though the agricultural sector has made remarkable progress in recent years, people’s lives remain difficult.
Faced with the situation, Long An has in collaboration with Tiền Giang and Đồng Tháp developed a project to develop Đồng Tháp Mười with a target to create unique and distinctive products with competitive advantages, he said.
“Long An has also promoted co-operation with other localities and strived to improve the investment environment and infrastructure for agriculture in rural areas.”
The conference also heard about the benefits of applying technology in agriculture and measures to develop hi-tech agriculture in Đồng Tháp Mười.
Calling for investment
At the conference the three provinces solicited investment worth trillions of đồng in 16 agricultural projects.
Long An sought VNĐ3.52 trillion (US$155 million) in nine, notably a lemon processing project with a growing area of 550ha in Bến Lức District at a cost of VNĐ1 trillion.
Tiền Giang had four projects worth over VNĐ1.5 trillion ($66.2 million), including a hi-tech agricultural park on 197ha in Châu Thành and Tân Phước districts worth VNĐ1.2 trillion.
Đồng Tháp had three projects, a logistics centre and wholesale fruit market and two hi-tech agriculture sub-zones in Sa Đéc and Cao Lãnh cities.
It has also sought investment in many other projects, including infrastructure at industrial parks, processing plants, solar energy production, tourism and urban development.
Được, deputy chairman of Long An Province, said the local government would carry out further administrative reform and train workers to meet the requirements of businesses.
It is willing to offer incentives to investors, he added.
Also at the conference seven memorandums of understanding were signed between co-operatives, producers and distribution firms to promote consumption of the sub-region’s farm produce. — VNS