|This year, the cultivation of high-quality rice rose from 67 per cent in 2013 to 70 per cent of the total rice crop. — Photo kiengiang.vnpt.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Kien Giang Province, the country's largest rice producer, has chosen rice and brackish-water shrimp as major products for agricultural restructuring.
Mai An Nhin, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said the area for rice cultivation would remain the same, but that crops would be rotated on paddy fields.
Areas unsuited to rice cultivation would be used to grow vegetables and cash crops.
This year, the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development plans to shift 4,000ha devoted to rice cultivation to corn, soybean and sesame.
Kien Giang has converted 135ha of fields from rice to corn and 379 ha from rice to sesame this year, mostly in Giang Thanh and Hon Dat districts.
Farmers who participate in rotating crops on paddy fields will be given financial support of 60 per cent to buy seedlings and 30 per cent to buy material inputs. They will also receive training in farming techniques.
Nguyen Van Tam, the department director, said restructuring aimed to ensure high efficiency, quality and added value via specialised and intensive farming.
Restructuring would also link agricultural production with outlets that can guarantee, process and export goods.
The province has 770,379ha of rice, with a total yield of 4.5 million tonnes in 2013.
This year, the total area for rice in the province fell to 761,184ha but the rice yield is expected to increase to 4.6 million tonnes, according to the department.
This year, the cultivation of high-quality rice rose from 67 per cent in 2013 to 70 per cent of the total rice crop.
Kien Giang has also invested in infrastructure for agricultural production, built closed dykes and set up electric pumping stations to reduce production costs.
The province targets developing large-scale rice fields to 57,000ha in 2017 and 100,000ha in 2020.
The province has 90 large-scale paddy fields with a total area of 10,790ha.
In the 2014-15 winter-spring rice crop, farmers have had an average yield of 7.25 tonnes per ha, up 0.04 tonne against the 2013-14 winter-spring rice crop.
With the increasing yield of rice in recent years, the lives of many farmers have improved.
Pham Thi Sang in Tan Hiep District's Tan Hiep A Commune said her family had harvested 7.8 tonnes of rice per ha in the 2014-15 winter-spring rice crop.
"With a bumper harvest, the life of my family is better," she said. "Other farmers in my area also had a bumper harvest."
In a related matter, the province has also decided to expand the shrimp breeding area under industrial and semi-industrial methods in the Long Xuyen Quadrangle and U Minh Thuong area.
The province has applied advanced techniques in breeding shrimp, including Global Good Agricultural Practices (GlobalGAP).
This year, farmers have bred more than 95,000ha of shrimp. Of the figure, 1,078ha were bred under industrial and semi-industrial farming methods and the rest under extensive farming and in fields rotating between shrimp and rice. — VNS