HÀ NỘI — Farmers in suburban districts of Hà Nội resumed work even as other residents continued their Tết (Lunar New Year) celebrations.
Warm weather in the northern region around Tết created favourable conditions for the 2016-2017 Winter-Spring crop, prompting the early return to the fields, the Kinh tế & đô thị (Economic and Urban Affairs) newspaper reported on Thursday.
In Quang Tiến Commune, Sóc Sơn District, farmers were back in the fields on Wednesday, or the fourth day of the Lunar New Year.
One of them, Nguyễn Thị Quý, said they had to prepare rice seedlings for transplanting by the end of next week or they would miss the winter-spring crop season.
In Đại Đồng Commune, Thạch Thất District, some farmers had already started transplanting the rice seedlings while others worked the soil and embanked the fields’ edges.
The rice fields, which were covered with water a few days ago, were fresh green with the colour of rice seedlings.
Farmer Hoàng Thị Ngân of Đại Đồng Commune said that during very first days of Lunar New Year, her family members took turns to visit their field and nurse the seedlings.
“Tết is not over but it’s time to transplant the seedlings,” she said, adding that weather has been quite good for farming so far.
Also on Wednesday morning, farmers in Phúc Thọ District’s Tam Hiệp, Ngọc Tảo, Phụng Dương and Phúc Hòa communes said they were eager to resume farming.
Nguyễn Thị Hòa said that her family wanted to cultivate 2 mẫu (a mẫu is 3,600 square metres) of rice in this year’s Winter-Spring crop and over the last two days, they’d transplanted rice seedlings on almost on one mẫu.
Bùi Thị Mão, a farmer in Tam Đồng Commune, Mê Linh District, said that farming activities there usually faced a water shortage, so they’d started storing water before Tết.
“The water was pumped from canals into the fields so that farmers could start transplanting seedlings,” Mão said.
Nguyễn Vĩnh Liên, head of Irrigation Division under the city’s agriculture department, said that five irrigation companies in the city worked through the festival to operate the pumps and provide water for agriculture production.
He said the city plans to have 98,000ha for the 2016-2017 Winter-Spring Crop and 45 per cent of this area has received water for cultivation, helping farmers resume work early.
Vegetable growers in Vân Nội Commune, Đông Anh District were also busy in first days of new Rooster Year.
The vegetable gardens of Vân Trì Hamlet in Vân Nội Commune is a major source for markets in Hà Nội, providing about 100,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables every year.
Bùi Thị San said that vegetables grew well in ongoing weather conditions and growers like San were happy to see increased demand and consumption for vegetable during Tết celebration.
Flower growers across the city including those in Mê Linh and Bắc Từ Liêm districts have harvested the last flowers and started preparing the soil for new crops.
Nguyễn Thị Tý of the Tây Tựu Flower Village said that her family grew 1.5 mẫu of lilies for Tết, but suffered losses because of unfavourable weather conditions.
As she removed dead lilies and tilled the soil, she said she would grow roses for Valentine’s Day this month and Women’s Day next month, and hoped the weather would be good.
Thank the farmers
At a year-end conference of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc praised the agriculture sector for impressive gains made in the face of formidable odds including repeated natural disasters and the massive fish deaths in April.
Last year, natural calamities caused a loss of about US$1.7 billion to the national budget, equal to almost 1 per cent of the country’s GDP.
Last year, for the first time, export turnover of vegetable and fruits of Việt Nam reached $2.4 billion.
“We have to say ’Thank You’ to farmers, fishermen and salt makers who went through hardships to make such achievements,” Phúc said.
He called for stronger restructuring of the agriculture sector with a focus on production-supply links, value chains and food processing.
He also asked for further investment in infrastructure in rural areas, particularly for improving resilience to natural disasters. — VNS