Trương Đình Dứt works on his organic farm in Đồng Tháp Province’s Cao Lãnh District. VNS File Photo
MEKONG DELTA More and more farmers and entrepreneurs in the Mekong Delta are realising that new organic farming models help increase their income.
Since the 2017 –18 winter-spring crop, the Mỹ Động Agricultural Coop No2 (in Đồng Tháp Province’s Tháp Mười District) has been collaborating with Rynan Smart Fertilisers in Trà Vinh city to introduce the smart rice cultivation model on 7.6ha of land.
Farmers use smart fertilisers just once (for the crop), together with other harmless biological products. Rynan also used water level measuring equipment (using solar energy) to help farmers monitor the water level required for the rice plants at each stage of growth.
According to Nguyễn Văn Khi, a member of the co-operative, the new organic farming models require lower volumes of rice seeds of around eight kilogrammes per hectare.
In the first crop farmers could harvest some seven tonnes of undried paddy per hectare, but earned more as production costs were down to nearly half and they could sell their paddy to Rynan at 30-40 per cent higher than normal prices, he said.
After a few bumper harvests, members have expanded the area under the new farming models to over 50ha.
Recognising the effectiveness of the organic farming models, the Đồng Tháp Province People’s Committee has made plans to expand the members’ farming area to 170ha.
Besides, members of other agricultural co-operatives in Tháp Mười District have embraced the low-cost organic rice cultivation models.
Ngô Phước Dũng, chairman of the Mỹ Đồng Farming Service Coop No2, said the new models enable their produce to meet the demands of the market.
Organic vegetable cultivation
Besides rice, other crops are also grown using technologies by companies and farmers in the Mekong Delta.
Trương Đình Dứt quit teaching to become a vegetable grower and director of Khả Quỳnh Agricultural Production Company Ltd. in Gáo Giồng Commune in Đồng Tháp Province’s Cao Lãnh District.
He studied organic farming models around the delta and in early 2018 began to develop a farm to grow clean and organic vegetables and other safe produce.
No pesticide has ever been used in his farm and only organic fertilisers and other biological products are used.
Dứt said he spent some VNĐ2.5 billion (about US$110,000) on a greenhouse, an irrigation system and other facilities.
He never uses manufactured products on his farm, he said.
He grows tomato, cucumber, waxy pumpkin, China squash, bottle gourds, and loopah.
Khả Quỳnh Agricultural Production Company supplies clean vegetables to shops and agents around Đồng Tháp Province.
The farm, which produces over 300 tonnes of agricultural produce annually, earns revenues of VNĐ3 billion. VNS.