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Better Rice initiative to help Mekong farmers

Update: November, 16/2015 - 09:32
Farmers take care of rice field in the Mekong Delta Kien Giang Province. About 3,000 farmers from the region will benefit from a project called Better Rice Initiative Asia that has been launched in Can Tho City. — Photo VNA/VNS Photo

CAN THO (VNS) — About 3,000 farmers from three Mekong Delta provinces will benefit from a project called Better Rice Initiative Asia that has been launched in Can Tho City.

Carried out as part of the Integrated Coastal Management Programme, the project aims to promote private-public partnerships along the rice value chain through adoption of a sustainable rice cultivation model harnessing the latest technologies.

In the first phase, it will be carried out in the provinces of Dong Thap, Hau Giang, and Kien Giang. It will seek to improve farmers' knowledge of rice cultivation and promote the adoption of modern technologies in an environment-friendly and sustainable manner.

Its focus is also to improve the rice value chain as a whole, from input to output, to strengthen the connection between rice production and market consumption to ensure rice quality and market satisfaction, enabling farmers to increase their incomes.

The project aims at increasing farmers' incomes by at least 30 per cent through increasing yields and/or reducing input costs by adopting innovative rice cultivation methods. Furthermore, it said, rice harvested from this project would meet EU quality standards.

"The focus of the project is innovative and synchronised technology solutions, including the use of good seeds, integrated crop management, water and nutrient management, integrated pest management … to utilize effectively rice input, increasing yields and quality, reducing losses and costs, and at the same time increasing labour productivity and farmers' incomes," Phan Huy Thong, Director of the Viet Nam National Agricultural Extension Centre, said.

"The project can contribute greatly to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change for sustainable rice production in Viet Nam.

"The project supports the stakeholders in the rice value chain in applying the large field model. This is a key measure to restructure Viet Nam's agriculture by increasing added value and farmers' incomes and boosting sustainable rice production."

The other key stakeholders involved in the project are the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development of Dong Thap, Hau Giang and Kien Giang provinces, the International Rice Research Institute, and the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute. — VNS

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