|Farmers harvest the 2020 – 21 winter – spring rice in Ninh Thuận Province’s Thuận Nam District. – VNA/VNS Photo Công Thử
NINH THUẬN – Farmers in the south – central and Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) regions are getting high prices from a bumper harvest of the winter – spring rice crop, partly due to use of certified seeds and preventive measures against disease.
The average yield in the two regions has been 6.6 tonnes per hectare, up 410kg against last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The selling price is VNĐ1,000 – 1,500 a kilogramme higher than last year.
Speaking at a recent seminar held in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận, Nguyễn Thị Tố Trân, deputy director of the Bình Định Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said farmers in Bình Định had harvested an average 7.1 tonnes per hectare, the highest yield so far.
About half of the 320,000ha of the winter – spring rice in the two regions has been harvested so far, according to MARD.
Lê Thanh Tùng, deputy head of MARD’s Plant Cultivation Department, said: "Farmers were told to sow the crop earlier than normal and arrange a suitable sowing schedule for each area."
They have also used rice varieties with short – term maturity, which reduces the use of irrigation water.
To avoid water shortages at the end of the crop, drought – resistant crops were planted instead of rice. These included watermelon, soybeans, sweet potatoes and others, offering a profit of VNĐ50 – 130 million (US$2,160 - 5,600) per hectare a crop, three times higher than the profit from rice.
For the next summer – autumn rice crop, the two regions plan to grow a total 180,770ha, up 20,000ha against last year. The sowing time is between April and June.
The two regions plan to grow a total of 266,180ha of mùa rice, which is planted during the rainy season and in areas that grow only one rice crop a year.
MARD Deputy Minister Lê Quốc Doanh said that drought could occur during the summer – autumn rice and mùa rice season since the two regions are expected to have no rain from now to September. Crops should not be grown in areas which cannot secure irrigation water, he said.
The average water level of reservoirs in the south – central region has reached 74 per cent of their designed capacity, about 4 per cent higher than average, according to MARD’s Irrigation Department.
The water levels of reservoirs in the Tây Nguyên region are at 47 – 65 per cent of their designed capacity, higher than the levels in 2019 and 2020. – VNS