|Green skin and pink grapefruit are planted in Tiền Giang province. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Trí
TIỀN GIANG — Coastal localities in Tiền Giang Province have expanded fruit cultivation to adapt to climate change and mitigate the impact of drought and saltwater intrusion to agricultural production.
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province, which is the country’s largest fruit producer, has faced severe impact from saltwater intrusion during the dry season in recent years, affecting agricultural production and the lives of local people in coastal areas.
Farmers in coastal districts of Gò Công Đông and Gò Công Tây and the town of Gò Công, have more than 13,600ha of specialty fruits such as dragon fruit, soursop and citrus fruits.
The coastal localities are estimated to harvest about 315,000 tonnes of fruits for domestic and export markets, according to the province Department of Agriculture.
They have harvested about 100,000 tonnes of fruits so far this year, it said.
In Gò Công Đông District, local authorities have encouraged farmers to turn unproductive rice fields and other crops into growing specialty fruits to adapt to climate change.
The district has nearly 1,000ha of fruits, according to its Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development.
This will expand the cultivation of its key fruits, such as dragon fruit, Barbados cherry and soursop, in sand dune areas, near irrigation canals and residential areas, said the bureau.
It has 200ha of specialised pink dragon fruit growing in Kiểng Phước Commune.
The commune has established a co-operative for growing dragon fruit to meet Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards.
Fruit cultivation has helped improve income for people in the commune which has been recognised as a new style of rural area, said local authorities.
In Gò Công Tây District, farmers have turned unproductive rice fields or other crop growing areas into growing fruits, especially dragon fruit as it is resistant to drought and inclement weather conditions.
Dragon fruit is one of the province’s key exported fruits.
The district has more than 600ha of dragon fruit.
The district has also expanded the cultivation of green skin and pink grapefruit and other high value fruits.
Nguyễn Văn Mẫn, director of the department, said under the province’s plan of restructuring crop cultivation in coastal localities, the localities have developed cultivating specialty fruits in the main fruit growing areas.
The province has encouraged farmers to expand growing fruits in sand dune areas, along irrigation canals and in unproductive rice fields, he said.
Farmers are instructed in advanced farming techniques to increase yield and quality to meet requirements of domestic and export markets, he said.
The province has established co-operatives to link farmers together for large-scale production, stable prices and sales guarantees.
It has invested in infrastructure for controlling and preventing saltwater intrusion and drought.
In the 2021-22 dry season, it spent VNĐ38 billion (US$1.6 million) to build irrigation works. — VNS