|Mangoes are being harvested in An Giang Province. The province is seeking to increase the exports of mangoes and other agricultural products. — VNA/VNS Photo Công Mạo|
AN GIANG — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of An Giang will focus on restructuring agriculture production this year to improve yields, quality and efficiency.
It plans to grow rice only on 627,500ha, nearly 5,300ha down from last year, though output will remain unchanged at four million tonnes, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
It will grow 52,000ha of vegetables and other crops, up 2,840ha.
Rice and tra fish are its two key export items.
Speaking at a recent seminar on implementing the province’s agriculture and rural development plan for this year, Trương Kiến Thọ, deputy director of the department, said there was a plan to turn unproductive paddies into farms growing other, high-value crops this year.
The department would increase the use of advanced farming methods like ‘three increases – three reductions’ and ‘one must and five reductions’ in rice cultivation, he said.
The latter requires farmers to use certified seeds and reduce the use of seedlings, plant protection chemicals, nitrogenous fertilisers, irrigation, and post-harvest losses.
The department will expand the application of Vietnamese and global good agricultural practices (VietGAP and GlobalGAP) standards to increase farmers’ incomes, and focus on developing concentrated farming areas for fruits, vegetables and rice.
It will digitise farming, develop agricultural products with geographical indication and origin traceability and provide advanced farming techniques and information about disease risks to farmers.
The province did not reach its agricultural growth target last year because of the COVID -19 pandemic, according to the department.
Its agriculture is now too scattered and the scale is too small while linkages between various stakeholders are still tenuous.
The quality and competitiveness of many of its agricultural products are low.
Trần Anh Thư, vice chairman of the province People’s Committee, said the department should develop markets and ensure production is based on market requirements.
It should develop models that involve linkages between stakeholders in production and consumption, and foster handicrafts villages to improve farmers’ incomes, he said.
Each district in the province should develop 10 OCOP products under the country’s one commune - one product (OCOP) programme and promote their sales on e-commerce platforms, he added. — VNS