|Farmers in Sóc Trăng Province’s Châu Thành District harvest the winter-spring rice. — VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Phi|
HCM CITY — Farmers in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta have begun harvesting the winter-spring rice crop, and are getting high yields and prices.
The delta, the country’s rice granary, had planted 1.5 million hectares.
In Đồng Tháp Province’s Tháp Mười District, among the earliest in the delta to harvest, farmers began the work before Tết (Lunar New Year), which fell on January 22.
Nguyễn Văn Tình harvested his 10ha of OM 468 rice, a high-quality and high-yield variety, before Tết and got a yield of 7.5 tonnes per hectare.
He has a contract with a company, which bought his rice for VNĐ7,800 a kilogramme, VNĐ1,000 higher than the market price.
He earned VNĐ250 million (US$11,000) from the sale, he said.
In the past he planted normal varieties and sold them to traders, and the yield and income were not high, he added.
In Sóc Trăng Province, farmers said they earned VNĐ30 million ($1,300) per hectare.
The province planted more than 171,000ha, and the harvest is expected to be completed next month, according to its Plant Cultivation and Protection Sub-department.
In its Châu Thành District, farmers have harvested more than 50 per cent of the 16,253ha of rice they planted, and yields have been 4.9-5.2 tonnes per hectare.
Trần Kim Nguyên, Deputy Director of the District Agriculture Services Centre, said it has been a good crop for farmers since there were few diseases, the yields are good and prices are high.
The winter-spring crop is the year’s major one in the delta, where farmers grow up to three a year.
In Kiên Giang, the country’s largest rice-producing province, farmers have planted 280,750ha, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
They use advanced techniques to reduce costs, it added.
The harvest is expected to peak in a month.
The Tân Hiệp Agriculture Co-operative in Kiên Giang’s Châu Thành District sowed 500ha of rice and has harvested 200ha so far. The rest will be harvested by the end of this month.
Lê Minh Hải, director of the co-operative, said the crop on the remaining 300ha is growing well and farmers expect paddy prices to continue to increase.
Traders now pay VNĐ500 - 1,000 a kilogramme higher for paddy than for the summer-autumn crop a few months ago.
Many rice processing plants and companies have reopened operations after Tết, and the resultant higher demand is pushing up prices.
The country’s rice exports are expected to increase significantly this year because of the huge demand for large rice importers, according to the Việt Nam Food Association. — VNS