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Farmers reeling from crop losses due to torrential rains across Mekong Delta

SGGP
Farmers in the Mekong Delta region have been reeling from crop losses due to torrential rains and high tide.

Soldiers help farmers on the field during early harvest to cut losses (Photo: SGGP)

Soldiers help farmers on the field during early harvest to cut losses (Photo: SGGP)

Farmers in the Ca Mau Province in the southern tip of Vietnam are harvesting on October 19 amid heavy rains inundating rice fields causing difficulties in cutting rice with sickles.
Farmer Duong Van Thang in Tran Van Thoi District said that continuous downpour wreaked havoc in the district. More than 1.5 hectares of his rice field was destroyed by downpours; he suffered a complete crop loss .
Farmers are scrambling to find desperately needed manpower to harvest their rice to minimize loss; however, high pay for laborers who helped to harvest the rice fields damaged by heavy rain disappointed farmers. Farmer Pham Thi Ut in Khanh Binh Dong Commune said payment for hiring people to reap ripe rice surged from VND500,000 to VND600,000- VND800,000 at the time plus rent for a machine to pluck grains off ears each rice bag is VND20,000.
Many rice fields in districts Vi Thuy, Long My, Phung Hiep and Vi Thanh town in the Mekong Delta of Hau Giang were flattened after heavy rains. Farmer Tran Van Trai in Vi Thuy District sadly said that a month ago, traders offered VND6,000 for a kilogram of fragrant rice; his rice field is estimated to generate profit of VND8 million. But continuous downpours in these days tore his dream as traders refused to buy the rice.
According to the provincial Steering Board for Disaster Prevention and Rescue, of farmers have harvested the fall-winter crop on 21,600 hectares. By October 19, more than 3,913 hectares of ripe rice field in the province were flattened; the yield at the rice fields is expected to fall by 5- 80 percent. Water levels in additional 5,809 hectares of paddy field with ripe rice plants ready for harvesting are from 10 to 30cm.
Farmers in Soc Trang also suffered the same fate as their rice plants were flattened.
Alongside complete losses due to bad weather, farmers in Ca Mau are in despairs as traders proposed to buy rice at VND3,000- VND3,800 per kilogram, a drop of one third compared to before. Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Kien Giang Province Do Minh Nhut said approximately 10,000 hectares of rice were flattened and submerged in floodwater.
Meanwhile Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Bac Lieu Province Luu Hoang Ly said that as per each locality’s initial statistics, there were 16,000 hectares of the flood-affected rice fields while 380 hectares of the summer-fall crop were totally destroyed.
Traders proposed to buy unhusked rice at VND6,100-VND6,400 a kilogram before; but now, they didn’t want to buy. Presently, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development directed related competent agencies and local administrations to drain water from irrigation culverts.
For these days, soldiers were sent to localities to help farmers on the field during early harvest to cut losses. Related state competent also made statistics of loss to have plan to compensate farmers.
Deputy Chairman of Hau Giang Province People’s Committee Truong Canh Tuyet yesterday toured to flood-affected paddy fields to study the situation. He requested local administrations to reinforce embankments as well as advised farmers to harvest the ripe rice to minimize losses. Moreover, he asked local administrations to have compensation plan to help farmers.

By staff writers – Translated by Anh Quan

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