|Farmers harvest maize in the northern province of Son La. Experts said that farmers could boost maize yields by applying more advanced technology. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS)— By applying more advanced technology, Vietnamese maize farmers could boost yields by 50 per cent by 2020 and reduce money spent on imports, Syngenta representative Peter Pickering said at a recent meeting with Vietnamese agricultural leaders.
The Swiss company, a global leader in the field of crop protection and agricultural biotechnology, launched a programme last year to transfer maize cultivation technology to farmers in Viet Nam's key corn growing areas. These include the northern mountainous area, the Central Highlands and the Red River Delta. The company also supplied seeds of a new hybrid variety to these areas.
Pickering said initial results were encouraging, adding that he hoped the maize varieties, which were resistant to herbicide and corn borers, would be approved by the Government for commercial production.
In addition to good seeds, technical advances were necessary to increase yields, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said.
For this autumn-winter crop, the company worked with Van Nam Agricultural Co-operative to provide farms with hybrid maize seeds as well as pest management solutions to improve yield.
The Asia-Pacific region has the largest corn growing area, but productivity is often low. In Viet Nam, maize fields have an average yield of 4.3 tonnes per ha.
The country has to import 9 million tonnes of maize for feed production annually. According to predictions, more than US$1 billion will be spent to import about 4.5 million tonnes of corn from now until the end of this year. Last year, the country spent more than $4 billion on agricultural material imports. — VNS