|Farmers harvest summer-autumn rice Tiền Giang Province in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta, the country’s rice granary. - VNA/VNS Photo Minh Trí
HCM CITY – The summer-autumn rice harvest in the southern region has been good and prices of the grain are high, according to provincial departments of agriculture and rural development.
The region has harvested about a third of its 1.69 million hectares with an average yield of 5.65 tonnes per hectare, up 200kg compared to last year’s summer – autumn crop.
The crop is comprised of 22.4 per cent fragrant and specialty varieties and 52.4 per cent high-quality varieties.
The summer-autumn rice is of high quality and meets market demand, especially export markets.
Traders now buy paddy at the farm at VNĐ 5,500 – 5,700 per kilogramme, giving farmers a profit of VNĐ1,000, according to local agriculture departments.
Local authorities attributed the good harvest to the excellent co-ordination between the plant cultivation department, irrigation department and local agriculture departments in setting up sowing schedules for each area.
This helped farmers avoid losses caused by inclement weather and disease outbreaks.
In the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Đồng Tháp, for instance, farmers have seen yields increase by 400kg per hectare from a year ago due to following the sowing schedules and also using high-quality seeds.
The province’s agricultural officials have also carefully instructed farmers in disease-prevention measures and farming techniques, resulting in lower production costs and thus higher profits.
The southern region plans to grow around 744,000ha of autumn-winter rice, 21,000ha less than a year earlier, according to local agriculture departments.
Fragrant strains like ST varieties, Nàng Hoa 9 and Đài Thơm 8 will be prioritised.
Another 234,000ha will be cultivated in the 2018-19 lúa mùa crop, in which traditional rice varieties with a maturity period of six months, low yields but high quality are grown.
Speaking at a seminar held in Tây Ninh Province on July 20, Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, head of the plant cultivation department, said local agriculture departments should continue to guide farmers with the autumn-winter and lúa mùa rice crops.
Agriculture departments should ensure the autumn-winter rice planting area are as planned and does not fall short, he said.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Quốc Doanh instructed localities to give priority to growing autumn-winter rice in flood-proof areas.
They should scrupulously follow sowing schedules to minimise possible damage to the crop, he said.
Farmers should plant high-quality rice varieties which are in demand in the market and resistant to diseases, he said. - VNS