DA NANG (VNS)— The central city's Hoa Tien Commune will apply a new rice seed variety, OM6976, for this summer-autumn crop and the 2014-15 winter-spring crop, Thai Van Quang from the city's agriculture and rural development department said yesterday.
The seed was chosen from 10 rice varieties tested in a three-crop pilot project as the most appropriate for the agriculture-intensive commune, due to its high productivity as well as its ability to resist insects.
"The seed produces 6.2 tonnes per hectare in comparison to the 5.5 tonne yield of the old seed," Quang said.
Ho Huy Cuong, vice director of the Agricultural Institute for Viet Nam's southern coastal central region, said the new seed had demonstrated its resilience to pests and drought.
"We also recognised that the seed is resilient to climate change, while its short growth period of 95-110 days can prevent losses to the summer-autumn rice crop due to flooding and storms in central provinces," he said. For comparison, the currently used Xi23 seed takes 125-130 days to grow.
The city farms 2,900ha of rice and produces 16,500 tonnes annually, but only a few residents use locally planted rice due to its low quality. This includes Hoa Tien Commune, home to 4,000 farming households and 1,400ha of rice-growing land.
However, the commune is currently benefiting from a rice seed production hub project supported by the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA) Fund. The US$529,000 project focuses on four crops.
"It's the first project in Viet Nam that aims to produce high quality rice seed. We have seen successful progress in the past two years and hope that the new seed will enhance food security in the city and the central region of Viet Nam. We will continue supporting the establishment of a rice seed production hub in Hoa Tien Commune," said FAO Viet Nam representative Bae Jong-ha.
Nguyen Thanh, a farmer of Hoa Tien No 1 co-operative, said all 118 farming households had been trained in post harvest processing capacity and establishing seed quality control for rice seed production.
"We hope to produce safe, high quality rice seeds with technical and legal support from the project," the farmer said. — VNS