|The first phase of the Cái Lớn - Cái Bé irrigation system in the Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang was inaugurated on Saturday. The project is expected to improve agriculture and aquaculture production, control salinity and fight the effects of climate change. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
KIÊN GIANG — Agricultural development in the Mekong Delta region must adapt to climate change and be in close connection with the growth of industry and services, said Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính.
He made the statement while chairing a meeting jointly held in the Mekong Delta's Kiên Giang Province on Sunday by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the people’s committees of 13 cities and provinces to discuss measures to promote agricultural development for the region and to cope with climate change.
PM Chính said the Mekong Delta region holds a very important position in terms of politics, economy, society and national defence and security as well as in trade exchanges with ASEAN member countries and the Greater Mekong sub-region.
The region has many competitive advantages. It is the biggest agricultural production hub of Việt Nam with the mission to ensure national food security and export, creating jobs for 65 per cent of people in the region, according to the PM. The region has initially succeeded in agricultural restructuring and improving local people’s living conditions. It has formed production models specialising in rice, fruit and seafood cultivation with the application of high technology, helping to create a huge volume of products and increase competitive advantages in the international market.
The Mekong Delta region accounts for 31.7 per cent of the agricultural sector’s GDP. It contributes up to 50 per cent of the country’s rice output, 65 per cent of aquaculture output and 70 per cent of fruit output. It also makes up 95 per cent of rice volume for export and 60 per cent of fish volume for export.
However, the Government leader noted that the development of the region still fails to meet its potential due to some limitations and challenges such as the slow transition of agricultural production mindsets and small and fragmented agricultural production. Agricultural production is not stable, still depending on weather and consumption markets while lacking tight linkages between production, processing and consumption.
Agricultural production is also affected by objective factors such as climate change and seawater rises, as well as the exploitation and use of water resources of countries upstream of the Mekong river, according to the PM.
PM Chính asked localities to focus on developing the Mekong Delta region rapidly and sustainably towards adaptation to climate change, improving the living conditions for local people while keeping national defence and security and social order and safety.
He instructed the region to promote its spirit of self-reliance, diversify financial resources, speed up public-private partnership and mobilise all resources for development investment.
He asked relevant ministries and agencies to complete mechanisms and policies to develop the region and focus on promoting the development of strategic infrastructure; vocational training; investment in science and technology to improve productivity; and building trademarks for the region’s products.
It is also necessary to make use of trade agreements that Việt Nam has signed to expand consumption markets, he said.
PM Chính said he wished that the Mekong Delta region will develop stronger in the future, becoming a modern agricultural hub with sustainable development, high productivity and efficiency.
The Mekong Delta region covers 39,700sq.km, accounting for 12.2 per cent of the country’s total area, with a total population of over 18 million people, equivalent to 19 per cent of the country’s population.
PM inaugurates nation’s largest irrigation system
PM Chính on Saturday attended a ceremony to inaugurate the first phase of the Cái Lớn - Cái Bé irrigation system in Châu Thành District, Kiên Giang Province.
Connecting the Cái Lớn River to the Cái Bé River, the project is expected to improve agriculture and aquaculture production, control salinity and fight the effects of climate change for more than 384,000ha of land in five provinces of Kiên Giang, Hậu Giang, Cà Mau, Bạc Liêu and Sóc Trăng, including over 364,000ha of agricultural and aquaculture production.
It will also provide fresh water for An Minh and An Biên districts of Kiên Giang Province during periods of low rainfall.
Construction of the first phase started in October 2019 with an investment of more than VNĐ3.3 trillion (US$143.3 million). It covers 54.5ha of land in Châu Thành District. — VNS