|Rice – shrimp farming fields in Bạc Liêu Province’s Hồng Dân District. – VNA/VNS Photo Chanh Đa|
BẠC LIÊU – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bạc Liêu plans to expand large-scale production and the use of advanced techniques to improve agricultural yield and quality and raise farmers' incomes from now to 2025.
The province’s People’s Committee targets production of 1.17 million tonnes of paddy, including 190,240 tonnes of organic paddy, a year by 2025.
It plans to expand large-scale rice fields to 100,000ha, or about half of the province’s total rice area. Farmers participating in large-scale rice fields will have contracts with rice companies that will ensure stable prices.
It also plans to produce 600,000 tonnes of seafood a year by 2025, with half of that being shrimp. About 20,500 tonnes of organic shrimp will be produced a year by 2025.
It targets breeding more pigs, buffalo, cows and goats, and 3.5 million poultry a year by 2025. The province, which is the delta’s largest salt producer, plans to produce 55,000 tonnes of salt a year by 2025, including 7,000 tonnes of high quality white salt.
It also targets having 103 new agricultural products certified under the country’s one commune – one product (OCOP) programme by 2025, taking the province total’s OCOP products to 171 products.
The second phase of its hi – tech agriculture zone for shrimp breeding is expected to be completed by 2025.
Phạm Văn Thiều, chairman of the People’s Committee, said that zoning projects would be cancelled if they are not feasible, and land used in ineffective projects or by investors with insufficient financial capacity would be taken back.
The province will mobilise capital from official development assistance (ODA), foreign direct investment (FDI) and other sources, and develop insurance systems to reduce risks in agricultural production. It will also encourage startup investors in agriculture and rural development.
It will help farmers to access technology and markets, and transfer advanced techniques to farmers who grow rice and breed aquatic species and animals.
The province, which is one of the delta’s largest shrimp producers, breeds shrimp under intensive, super - intensive, and rice - shrimp farming models, among others.
The rice - shrimp farming model is used mostly in Phước Long and Hồng Dân districts and Giá Rai Town. It offers farmers a high profit of VNĐ40 - 50 million (US$1,700 – 2,200) per hectare a crop, according to the district’s Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Farmers have learned how to create shrimp ponds, manage the breeding environment, and use advanced breeding techniques.
The province has encouraged rice farmers to use new varieties like ST 24 and ST 25. These are two of the best rice varieties in the world and are highly resistant to saltwater intrusion, alum affection and disease.
To reach its goals, the province plans to speed up investment in many infrastructure projects, including irrigation and climate-change adaptation.
Lưu Hoàng Ly, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “The province will put into use major projects that cope with climate change.”
These include new river embankments in Bạc Liêu City, erosion-prevention embankments in estuary and coastal areas in Gành Hào Town and Đông Hải District, and erosion-prevention embankments in Bạc Liêu City’s Nhà Mát Sea.
A sluice system to prevent tides and flooding in Bạc Liêu City and nearby areas will also be built.
The province will also create mud flats and plant mangrove trees to prevent erosion near the Nhà Mát Sea, and recover protective forests along the province’s coast.
It will build fishing ports that also serve as storm shelters for fishing boats. Other natural-disaster prevention projects will be launched, and investment priority will be given to upgrading and building river and sea embankments.
The province will also mobilise investment capital from ODA and public - private partnership (PPP) resources to develop logistics infrastructure, especially the Bạc Liêu - Hà Tiên expressway and the Hồ Chí Minh Road section.
Bạc Liêu is co-operating with the neighbouring provinces of Sóc Trăng, Hậu Giang, Kiên Giang and Cà Mau to build transport projects that will promote linkages in the delta. It is also speeding up the widening and upgrading of many roads in its commune and rural areas.– VNS