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Delta tackles climate change

Update: September, 06/2014 - 09:43
Farmers in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho harvest rice during flood season. Experts have said rice cultivation practices must be tailored to meet local environmental conditions. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong

AN GIANG (VNS)— A conference in An Giang province on Thursday reviewed a project to help farmers in the Mekong Delta adapt to climate change.

Hosted by Can Tho University, the gathering studied the implementation of a project called "Climate Change Affecting Land Use in the Mekong Delta: Adaptation of Rice-based Cropping Systems."

Funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the US$1.1 million project was carried out in the provinces of An Giang, Hau Giang and Bac Lieu, and Can Tho city from 2011-14.

It focused on developing new rice varieties for submerged and alkaline agricultural land, as well as areas affected by saltwater intrusion.

Experts and scientists analysed the impacts of climate change and sea level rises on the region's rice production.

Le Van Hoa from Can Tho University highlighted the need to manage water resources and land for rice cultivation in ways adaptive to climate change.

Participants said it was necessary to carefully tailor rice cultivation practices and crop varieties to each type of ecosystem, whilst also promoting biodiversity to check the spread of disease.

They agreed that this approach would improve rice quality and output.

Covering an area of almost four million hectares, the Mekong Delta has a population of about 22 million, most of whom live from farming.

A major granary for the country, the region suffered from floods, droughts and unusual weather patterns even before climate change.

To counteract the impacts of climate change, the Mekong Delta is expected to refine its adaptation policies and plans, particularly with regard to the rise of sea levels and saltwater intrusion. — VNS

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