|Farmers tend the 2022-23 winter-spring rice in Kiên Giang Province’s Châu Thành District. — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Huy Hải|
KIÊN GIANG — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kiên Giang plans to grow 3.5-4.4 million tonnes of paddy on 700,000ha of land next year.
The country’s largest rice producer targets growing high-quality varieties on more than 90 per cent of the area and large-scale rice fields with contracts with companies accounting for at least 20 per cent.
Lê Hữu Toàn, deputy director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the goals are to grow clean and organic rice varieties, develop value chains and adapt to climate change, improving rice quality, value, production efficiency, and competitiveness.
The province plans to increase the area under rice grown to Vietnamese and global good agricultural practices (VietGAP and GlobalGAP), organic and Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standards to export to the EU, the US and Japan.
It will turn more unproductive rice fields in coastal areas into shrimp-rice farms to improve farmers’ incomes.
Under the shrimp-rice farming model, farmers raise shrimp in the dry season and grow rice in the rainy season on the same fields or even both simultaneously.
It helps produces clean rice and shrimp as farmers use few chemicals under the model.
The province has more large-scale rice fields – by pooling lands owned by many farmers – and been growing more high-quality grains in recent years.
The area of large-scale rice fields has increased steadily from 12,860ha in 2016 to 109,332ha now.
The province has 1,195ha of rice grown to VietGAP standards and 500ha to GlobalGAP standards, 1,229ha of organic rice and 2,507ha of SRP standard rice.
In the ongoing 2022-23 winter-spring rice crop, farmers have sown 281,000ha, or 80 per cent of the target.
The remaining area will be sown by the end of this month, according to the department.
Toàn said to produce the winter-spring rice crop efficiently, the department is teaching farmers advanced techniques.
The province is boosting the development of co-operatives to help farmers produce rice in large volumes to meet the requirements of the domestic and export markets.
It has taken various measures like building temporary dams to prevent saltwater intrusion and store water for irrigation.
It has tightened management of the quality and prices of seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, and other inputs.
It is likely to produce more than 4.4 million tonnes of paddy this year, slightly higher than the target. — VNS