|Coconuts are a key farm produce of Trà Vinh Province. The province is building a value chain for coconuts at a total cost of VNĐ12 billion (US$520,000).—VNA/VNS Photo|
TRÀ VINH — Trà Vinh Province People’s Committee has asked local authorities to speed up the province’s agricultural restructuring programme by replacing ineffective rice paddy fields with other crops.
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province has released a list of key crops until 2020 which include corn, peanut, sugarcane, citrus fruits, mango and coconut, among others.
The province aims to increase the production value of agricultural, forestry and fishery products by 4 per cent annually, with 70 per cent of total production value contributed by key farm produce.
It also wants to build brands for at least 15 key agricultural products and goods.
Since the beginning of the year, the province has shifted 893 hectares of paddy fields and unproductive old orchards to key crops or aqua farming.
In total, 13,295 hectares of ineffective rice land and orchards have been shifted to new crops with high economic efficiency.
Of the number, 8,840ha contain short-day plants and 2,260ha have perennial trees, while 2,190ha are for aqua farming.
The shift has brought farmers a profit of VNĐ90-200 million (US$3,900-8,700) per hectare per year.
Despite the economic benefits of restructuring, the province’s agricultural and rural development department said that problems remain, including the low usage of organic or clean agricultural techniques.
To help raise farmers’ incomes, other issues also need to be addressed, including the lack of value chains for local farm produce and their low competitiveness.
The province has called for closer collaboration between departments to help farmers adopt organic and clean farming models, build brands, and find markets to maintain sustainable production. — VNS