An agriculture official in Trà Vinh Province’s Trà Cú District instructs a farmer how to save her rice crop from saltwater and drought during the last dry season. – VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hòa
TRÀ VINH – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh has taken a number of measures to prevent saltwater intrusion up rivers and canals in the upcoming dry season to ensure there is no shortage of water for irrigation and household use.
Trà Vinh is one of the delta provinces hardest hit by saltwater intrusion between December and April, a phenomenon that has caused severe damage in recent years.
The delta is forecast to face a water shortage, and localities in Trà Vinh are speeding up construction of irrigation works, dredging of canals and repairs to degraded irrigation works to store freshwater.
In areas where irrigation systems are not extensive, local authorities are encouraging people to build embankments and temporary dams.
They have made plans for careful use of water.
The Trà Vinh People’s Committee has ordered the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to closely monitor saltwater intrusion and inform the public so that people could proactively take preventive measures.
If there is severe drought and saltwater intrusion as forecast, water would be prioritised for household use, animal husbandry and high-value crops, it said.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development should instruct farmers to suitably organise their crops, aquaculture and animal husbandry, it said.
Farmers should follow the farming schedules put out by local authorities, grow rice varieties that are resistant to drought and saltwater and use advanced farming techniques and efficient irrigation to save water, it added.
It has ordered the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Department of Construction to speed up construction of 12 clean water supply stations, install 130 km of new water pipes and more than 9,000 meters in households in the districts of Càng Long, Châu Thành, Cầu Ngang, Cầu Kè, Trà Cú, and Duyên Hải.
Phạm Minh Truyền, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said saltwater intrusion in 2020 - 21 was forecast to be greater than in 2015- 16.
Trà Vinh and other delta provinces had seen record levels of saltwater in 2015- 16.
In the last dry season the intrusion began early and was severe, causing losses of around VNĐ1 trillion (US$43 million) to the agriculture, according to the department.
More than 25,800ha of rice, 270ha of fruit and dozens of hectares of vegetables were affected.
Thousands of households suffered from a severe shortage of water. – VNS