Viet Nam News
CẦN THƠ — Cần Thơ’s agriculture, forestry and fishery output for this year is VNĐ13.5 trillion (US$578.5 million), 4.1 per cent higher than the target, according to the Mekong Delta city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Agriculture accounted for around VNĐ8 trillion of the value.
Rice topped other crops in terms of value as output exceeded the target by 8.5 per cent.
The city has 106 large-scale rice fields with a total area of 25,417ha and 18,000 farmers working together.
Almost 65 per cent of the rice grown in the winter-spring and summer-autumn crops comprised of high-quality varieties.
The use of agricultural machinery like harvesters, establishing large-scale fields, planting high-quality rice varieties, and high rice prices this year have meant farmers enjoyed a profit margin of 40 per cent.
The city’s 18,400ha of orchards produced 111,500 tonnes of fruits, 13.2 per cent more than the city’s target, according to the department.
The city has built brands for its Xoàn orange and Ido longan in Ô Môn District and Hạ Châu Burmese grape in Phong Điền District.
The department has established concentrated growing areas for milk apple, mango and Ido longan based on Vietnamese good agricultural practice (VietGAP) standards.
It has also acted as a link between companies and co-operatives, ensuring the former to buy all the latter’s products.
The Chánh Thu Import – Export Co., Ltd and the Cát Tường Agricultural Processing and Production Co., Ltd have made guarantee to purchase of the entire output of some co-operatives.
Chánh Thu has tied up with the Tân Hưng Hamlet milk apple growers club in Phong Điền District’s Giai Xuân Commune and the Lộc Hưng Mango Co-operative in Cờ Đỏ District’s Lộc Hưng Commune.
Cát Tường buys milk apples from the Trường Khương A Hamlet fruit growing co-operative in Phong Điền District’s Trường Long Commune.
This year it has bought four tonnes of milk apples from the co-operative at VNĐ40,000 a kilogramme, VNĐ10,000 higher than the market price, to export to the US.
Trần Văn Chiến, director of the co-operative, said members are very happy with the guaranteed outlet and high profits.
Nguyễn Văn Thắng, deputy chairman of the Phong Điền District People’s Committee, said the district has instructed local farmers to grow milk apple based on the standards stipulated by the company.
Besides growing fruit to VietGAP standards, the city has also developed eco-tourism around its orchards.
It has 15 orchards that offer eco-tourism, mostly in Phong Điền District. The model offers orchard owners 1.5 – 2 times the profit they get from their fruits.
The city has 5,000 buffaloes, oxen and cows, 130,000 pigs and 2 million poultry.
It has instructed farmers to ensure their farms meet food safety standards and they protect the environment and produce high-quality products.
The city has developed aquaculture areas that apply VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards to produce high-quality produce for both domestic consumption and exports.
Farmers breed fish and other creatures to VietGAP standards in 215ha of aquaculture ponds.
However, climate change, unseasonable rains and prolonged hot weather have affected the yield and production efficiency, according to Nguyễn Ngọc Hè, director of the department.
Individual and small of scale production, low labour skills in rural areas, unstable outlets and shortage of funding are major problems facing the agricultural sector, he said.
The city would continue to restructure agriculture next year, focusing on developing key products on a large scale and with high quality, he said.
It would improve the operations of existing co-operatives, set up new co-operatives and would continue to act as a link between companies and co-operatives, he said.
The city would continue to teach farmers farming techniques and solicit investment in agriculture, especially processing and post-harvest preservation. — VNS