|Farmers tend dragon fruit in Bình Thuận Province. The province is investing more in small irrigation projects to secure water for agricultural production. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Trung Hiếu
BÌNH THUẬN — The south-central province of Bình Thuận will spend VNĐ85 billion (US$3.7 million) to build small irrigation projects, in-field irrigation projects, and advanced and efficient irrigation facilities from now to 2025.
The building aims to use water resources effectively and provide more irrigation water for agricultural production.
The province targets securing irrigation for 85 per cent of rice fields that grow two rice crops a year in 2025.
It also targets having about 20 per cent of the province’s dry crop growing areas equipped with advanced and efficient irrigation facilities.
To meet the targets, the province will focus on investing in irrigation projects in crop-restructured areas, drought-prone areas and areas with difficulties accessing water resources at the end of irrigation canals.
It will build 45 small irrigation projects and in-field irrigation projects to provide water for 3,000ha of farming areas. It will apply alternate wet and dry irrigation for 275ha of rice. It will invest in advanced and efficient irrigation facilities for 550ha of key dry crops.
The province has 159 small irrigation works and in-field irrigation works, including 22 reservoirs with a capacity between 50,000-500,000 cu.m each, 127 concrete dams, 10 pumping stations and 1,966 km of in-field irrigation ditches.
The province has basically completed building large- and medium- sized irrigation projects for agricultural production.
However, the development of small irrigation works and in-field irrigation works face limited capital resources and many have deteriorated, according to the province’s People’s Committee.
About 21,500ha of the province’s 154,000ha of dry crops, or 13.9 per cent of the province’s dry crop growing area, are equipped with advanced and efficient irrigation facilities.
Of the 21,500ha, dragon fruit accounts for 15,550ha. The province is the country’s largest dragon fruit producer.
The use of advanced and efficient irrigation facilities has helped farmers to increase yield by 25 per cent and reduce the cost for irrigating and tending crops by 30 per cent, according to local farmers.
It has also helped to save 40-45 per cent of irrigation water compared to traditional irrigation methods.
Bình Thuận is one of the country’s driest provinces. It has an average rainfall of 1 metre per year. The province’s northern areas have an average rainfall of about 70 cm per year, causing severe drought in areas. — VNS