A dragon fruit orchard that meets GlobalGAP standards in Long An Province’s Châu Thành District. – VNA/VNS Photo Phan Minh Hưng
LONG AN – The use of advanced technologies in Long An Province has improved profits for farmers, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
For the last five years, the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province has applied high-tech methods to cultivate 2,082ha of dragon fruit, 15,075ha of rice, 1,476ha of vegetables and 4,000 cows for meat.
The products are produced under Vietnamese or Global Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP or GlobalGAP) standards.
Phan Quốc Chinh, who has 1ha of dragon fruit under GlobalGAP standards in Châu Thành District, said he had invested in automatic drip and spray irrigation systems for his orchard. The systems use irrigation water and fertiliser effectively, he said.
Rice, dragon fruit, vegetables and cows are the province's key agriculture products. Shrimp is expected to be a key agriculture product for export in the future.
Many co-operatives and co-operative groups in the province are engaged in high – tech shrimp farming.
In Cần Giuộc District, for instance, five co-operatives and 42 co-operative groups are involved in the model. Each farmer spends an initial cost of VNĐ200 – 300 million (US$8,600 – 12,900) for equipment per 1,000 sq.m of shrimp ponds. The model saves labour costs, reduces the shrimp death rate and produces quality shrimp.
Farmers can harvest about 3 tonnes of shrimp per 1,000 sq.m pond after three months of breeding and earn a profit of VNĐ100 million ($4,300).
Nguyễn Thanh Điền in Cần Giuộc’s Phước Vĩnh Đông Commune said he harvested 5 – 7 tonnes per 2,000 sq.m from this high – tech shrimp pond. The profit was two to three times higher than traditional farming methods, he said.
The province plans to have more than 6,800ha of brackish shrimp this year, including 200ha using high-tech farming.
Đinh Thị Phương Khanh, deputy director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department, said that brackish shrimp farming areas combined with high – tech shrimp farming would breed three to four shrimp crops a year.
This would increase yield and quality, protect the environment and develop sustainable production, she said.
To produce products of even quality and size and in large amounts, the province has created favourable conditions for agriculture co-operatives. The province helps them access advanced farming techniques and develop value chains for their products.
It has also promoted linkages among farmers and companies to produce and buy agricultural produce, especially high – tech products.
With the province’s support, the Tâm Nông Việt High - Tech Agriculture Co-operative in Cần Giuộc District has received an automatic irrigation system to grow honeydew melon in poly-greenhouses.
According to Đinh Bạt Quy, director of Tâm Nông Việt, the co-operative produces clean produce and has stable outlets. It also grows vegetables in poly-greenhouses.
The Mười Hai Clean Vegetable Co-operative in Cần Đước District plants 40 kinds of VietGAP-quality vegetables on a total area of 163ha and sells to supermarkets in and outside the province.
Lê Văn Giấy, director of Mười Hai, said the co-operative planted vegetables in net houses and used drip and spray irrigation systems.
The co-operative invested in warehouses to preserve harvested vegetables according to the requirements of its purchasing partners, he said. – VNS