|Farmers in Trà Vinh Province harvest paddy on a large-scale rice field. - VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hòa|
HCM CITY — The Trà Vinh Province People’s Committee will provide financial support to farmers who take part in growing crops on shared large fields and join co-operatives.
Under a decision by the provincial People’s Committee, farmers who plant rice, fruit and coconut on large fields will be given VNĐ840,000 (US$37) per ha per crop in the first year and VNĐ560,000 ($24) per ha per crop in the second year.
Farmers who grow other crops and short-term industry plants on large fields will be given VNĐ690,000 per ha per crop in the first year and VNĐ460,000 per ha per crop in the second year. Farmers will also receive 30 per cent of the seed cost of the first crop.
Under this model, farmers whose fields are located near each other grow crops on the same schedule with the same seed variety. They also use advanced farming techniques.
Trần Trung Hiền, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the model helps reduce production costs, increase profits and expand markets.
Farmers have access to state support via loans and farming techniques, he said, adding that farmers have high profits under this model.
However, there are few companies in the province that guarantee an outlet for sales of their crops, he said.
As a result, farmers have been reluctant to take part in the large-scale field model.
For the 2017-18 winter-spring rice crop, the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province has 13 large-scale rice fields with a total area of 3,450ha.
Of the figure, Tiểu Cần District has the largest area of large rice fields in the province, with 1,200ha. The province also has 11 large sugarcane fields with a total area of 272ha. It targets having 10,00ha of large rice fields by 2020.
In the 2017-18 winter-spring rice crop, farmers earned a profit of VNĐ35-40 million ($1,540 – 1,760) per ha, VNĐ5 million per ha higher than smaller fields.
Nguyễn Mai Quế Châu, deputy director of the Phú Cần Agricultural Co-operative in Tiểu Cần District, said the large fields yield 500 kilo per ha more than small fields and the quality of paddy is higher.
Traders often buy paddy at large fields at prices VNĐ100 -150 higher than in small fields, she said.
If farmers participate in a cooperative, they are provided quality input materials at lower prices. When harvest comes, the co-operative seeks companies in Trà Vinh and other provinces to buy paddy for farmers, she said.
The Phú Cần Agricultural Co-operative has a 155ha large-scale rice field and 128 members, up from 11 in 2015.
Trà Vinh has more than 70 agricultural co-operatives.
The province’s Co-operative Alliance is working with local agencies and localities to develop co-operation among the State, scientists, farmers and companies to establish closed chains from production to sales to ensure outlets for agricultural products. - VNS