|More than 625,000ha have been planted, almost the same as last year, while half of it has also been harvested.— Photo baobaclieu
HCM CITY (VNS) — Paddy output is expected to reach 45 million tonnes this year, up 800,000 tonnes from last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The southern region has harvested 93 per cent of its summer-autumn crop, or nearly 2 million hectares, and the next crop in autumn-winter is well under way in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, the country's main rice-growing area.
More than 625,000ha have been planted, almost the same as last year, while half of it has also been harvested.
This year the mua rice crop has been planted on nearly 1.7 million hectares, also almost the same as last year, with the northern region accounting for 1.17 million hectares. It is sowed in the rainy season and lasts from July to January.
According to the ministry, the north had favourable weather conditions and enough water and used proper techniques, and so the crop is developing well.
But Typhoon Kalmaegi on September 16 damaged 43,000ha of rice in the region, according to the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control.
On schedule in delta
Last month rains and floods in upstream Mekong also flattened paddies in the delta, making it difficult to harvest them.
Nguyen Van Can, a farmer in Long An Province's Tan Thanh District, said rains flattened and inundated his 2ha of rice which were ready for harvesting.
"I had to spend VND700,000 (US$34) for fuel to pump the water out to harvest."
The cost of renting harvesters to use in slushy fields was 50 per cent higher than normal, he said.
Can had to pay VND3 million to harvest each hectare.
Yields are down by 10-15 per cent because of the damage caused by the inundation, according to farmers.
In An Giang and Dong Thap, the worst-hit provinces in the delta, authorities have strengthened dykes to protect the rice crop.
The dykes, along with pumps to drain inundated fields, have helped protect the crop in Dong Thap, according to the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
During the summer-autumn rice crop, coastal provinces like Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu, and Ca Mau also consolidated their dykes to keep out seawater, built dams to store fresh water, and dredged canals to help irrigate 700,000ha of rice.
The crop has yielded an average of 5.65 tonnes per hectare, according to the Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute.
The bumper harvest has been enabled by planting varieties that are disease-resistant and high yielding, the institute said.
Farmers carried out planting according to schedule, which helped them avoid brown planthoppers and drought, it added.
Rice prices have increased because of an increase in Viet Nam's exports.
Farmers in the delta have harvested 20.6 million tonnes so far this year from both winter-spring and summer-autumn crops, or more than 82 per cent of the target of this year, according to the institute. — VNS