|Farmer Nguyễn Thị Hoà has installed an efficient irrigation system for her longan orchard in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province’s Xuyên Mộc District. – VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nhị
BÀ RỊA – VŨNG TÀU – More and more farmers in the southern province of Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu are using efficient irrigation facilities to not only save water and improve yields but also help adapt to climate change.
In Xuyên Mộc, an agricultural district, farmers have resorted to efficient irrigation since saltwater intrusion in rivers is a routine problem in the dry season and they often lack water for their crops.
Nguyễn Thị Hoà, a farmer in the district’s Bông Trang Commune uses a spray irrigation system for her 1.4ha longan orchard.
She only needs to turn it on and an hour later the orchard is completely irrigated.
“Besides saving water, the system also helps reduce labour costs and prevent soil erosion,” she said.
In the past she used traditional irrigation systems that needed two people to work a whole day to irrigate the orchard.
In the dry season farmers grow off-season longan and dragon fruit.
So she invested VNĐ30 million (US$1,500) to install the system in 2014 and has been reaping the rewards.
Nguyễn Trung Hậu in Đất Đỏ District’s Long Tân Commune invested in a drip irrigation system for his 5,000sq.m avocado farm in 2015.
Each tree is equipped with a sprayer at its root that can spray two litres of water per hour, ensuring both proper irrigation and economic use.
The system also helps reduce root rot disease caused by excess water, prevents the spread of diseases and helps trees develop well even amid inclement weather and water shortages, according to Hậu.
His costs have been reduced by 20 – 30 per cent since he installed it.
The province has 7,450ha of perennial crops where efficient irrigation systems have been installed.
They have helped increase yields by 6 – 15 per cent and reduce labour costs by 30 - 50 per cent and water use by 30 – 40 per cent, according to the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Vũ Ngọc Đáng, deputy head of the Rural Development Sub-department, said the province would review its irrigation development plan and take measures to protect its surface and groundwater resources.
It would also offer more incentives to encourage individuals and companies to invest in research into and production and supply of efficient irrigation systems, he said.
It would encourage companies to invest in hi-tech agriculture zones, he added. – VNS