A drone is used to spray pesticides on a rice field under the province’s first advanced rice farming project in Tháp Mười District. — VNA/VNS Photo Chương Đài
ĐỒNG THÁP — The Đồng Tháp Province People’s Committee on Wednesday held a ceremony to celebrate the Mekong Delta province’s first advanced rice farming project that uses modern techniques in all production stages and uses irrigation water efficiently.
The project is being implemented on 170ha by the Mỹ Đông 2 Commune Co-operative in Tháp Mười District.
Under the project, participating farmers use machines and smart devices for all production stages such as sowing seeds, fertilising, harvesting and post-harvest handling.
Participating farmers use slow-release fertiliser buried in soil as well as smart devices that use alternate wet and dry irrigation methods to save water.
They are also using smart devices to monitor brown plant hoppers, which are the main pests on rice fields.
The use of drones to spray pesticides helps farmers reduce the quantity of pesticide by 10 – 20 per cent compared to traditional spraying methods.
Rice produced under the project has traceable origin and is guaranteed sales outlets under farming contracts.
The production cost of rice planted under the project is about VNĐ4,266 a kilogramme, nearly VNĐ400 lower than the production cost under traditional methods.
The project is estimated to offer a profit of VNĐ15.8 million (US$680) per hectare a crop, up nearly VNĐ10 million ($430) compared to rice planted under traditional methods.
The project also creates conditions for farmers to exchange farming techniques, which reduces pollution and pesticide residue in rice fields.
Nguyễn Thanh Hùng, vice chairman of the People’s Committee, said that advanced techniques, modern machines and information technology, as well as linkages among farmers, scientists and rice companies are also being applied.
The project has reduced production costs, improved production efficiency, and protected the environment and farmers' health.
He said the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and local authorities should expand the project to other localities.
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province, one of the delta’s largest rice producers, has more than 200,000ha of land devoted to growing rice.
The province’s farmers grow a total of more than 520,000ha of rice in three rice crops a year with an annual paddy output of more than 3.3 million tonnes. — VNS
A smart facility for monitoring brown plant hoppers is installed on a rice field as part of the province’s first advanced rice farming project in Tháp Mười District. — VNA/VNS Photo Chương Đài