The information was released at a meeting organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the agricultural production in the early 2021 season on February 18.
Presently, traders are proposing VND6,800-VND7,000 per kilogram of high quality unhusked rice; VND7,000- VND7,500 a kilogram of fragrant unhusked rice and VND7,500-VND8,000 per kilogram of sticky rice. With such prices, farmers enjoy profit of approximately VND30 million (US$ 1,301) a hectare of paddy. As scheduled, farmers in the Mekong Delta will harvest 550,000 total hectares of paddy in the end of February.
Le Thanh Tung, Vice Head of the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the Mekong Delta region has planted more than 1.5 million hectares of paddy for the winter-spring season, a decrease of 30,000 hectares compared to prior winter-spring season with productivity of nearly 69.31 quintal per hectare of paddy and an output of 10.5 million tons.
Associate Professor Tran Ba Hoang, Head of the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research, noted that saltwater penetration is 6- 13 kilometer farer than previous years. In Ham Luong River, Co Chien River, and Hau River, saltwater can intrude 56km, 51 km, and 45 km further inland respectively.
It has been forecast that the coastal areas in the region will face shortage of fresh water in the end of February and March causing difficulties for production and residents’ daily life. Around 37,800 hectares of winter-spring season and 40,000 hectares of fruit orchards in coastal districts in the region will suffer water shortage.
Therefore, the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research proposed provinces in the Mekong Delta to reserve fresh water for the dry season as well as re-structure agricultural plan appropriately especially in coastal districts. Local administrations should quickly build dams to fight against saltwater intrusion and reserve water in canals and irrigation ditches for fruit orchards.
Moreover, local administrators should keep an eye on drought and salinity development to have timely announcement for farmers in a bid to avoid losses.
Agriculture Deputy Minister Le Minh Hoan said that in the upcoming time, the Mekong Delta needs a long-term strategy for agricultural production with focus on linking 13 departments of agriculture and rural development to share experience in battle against drought and saltwater intrusion.
Additionally, he said that a center to introduce agricultural products of the Mekong Delta should be set up in Hanoi in order to increase consumption. Presently, Dong Thap Province is the first locality in the Mekong Delta which has built a center to introduce agricultural products in Vietnam’s capital city having good sign at first.