|Sowing the summer – autumn rice in Đồng Tháp Province’s Thanh Bình District. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Văn Trí|
ĐỒNG THÁP — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Đồng Tháp has built new pumping stations for irrigation and upgraded existing ones to ensure there is sufficient water for the summer-autumn rice crop.
The province plans to grow the grain on more than 180,000ha.
It has a dense river and canal network and an open irrigation system with more than 4,000km of irrigation canals, 2,200 sluices and more than 1,200 electric pumping stations, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The pumping stations can, in the normal course, supply water to irrigate nearly 100 per cent of the summer-autumn rice, whose planting is underway.
But this year there could be a water shortage, and 6,700ha of lands under various crops this summer-autumn could lack irrigation because the rainy season has been delayed and is forecast to be deficient, according to the province’s Centre for Hydro-Meteorology Forecasting.
To mitigate this, the province People’s Committee has ordered localities to focus on checking and repairing pumping stations and building more of them.
Farmers are encouraged to adopt efficient irrigation methods to save water.
Tháp Mười District, a locality with an efficient pumping system, has 129 stations to irrigate 37,500ha.
Nguyễn Minh Tâm, deputy chairman of its People’s Committee, said the district’s communes and towns have been instructed to inspect and dredge irrigation canals and draw up appropriate pumping schedules.
The Mỹ Đông 2 Agricultural Service Co-operative in Mỹ Đông Commune has, for instance, spent more than VNĐ30 billion (US$1.3 million) on building a pumping station, irrigation ditches, roads, and smart irrigation systems for its members’ 170ha of rice paddies.
This has helped them conserve water, reduce costs and improve yields.
Under a 2014-20 plan to develop pumping stations the province has invested VNĐ367 billion ($15.7 million) to provide irrigation for 203,500ha of land.
The 2019-20 winter-spring crop saw farmers in the province grow rice on 200,000ha and harvest 1.4 million tonnes of paddy to earned incomes of VNĐ18 - 20 million ($770 - 860) per hectare, VNĐ5 million higher than a year earlier.
The province plans to grow a total of 490,000ha of rice this year.
Last year it had planted 521,000ha for an output of 3.34 million tonnes. VNS