New saline-resistant rice varieties have helped farmers in coastal
areas in the Mekong Delta become more efficient and earn higher profits.
Farmers in Soc Trang Province’s Hong Dan
District, for example, began planting soi, a saline-resistant rice
variety, early this year on 260ha in Ninh Thanh Loi, Ninh Thanh Loi A
and Vinh Loc communes.
Previously, the three communes could only cultivate cajuput, water coconut palm and shrimp.
2009, the district’s authorities asked Can Tho University to conduct
research on a rice variety that could grow in these communes, which were
affected by saline intrusion and alum.
University experts chose the soi variety, which can survive with a saline content of 0.1 percent.
rice variety, which has a maturity period of 150 days, has a yield of
more than 4 tonnes per hectare. The university continues to improve this
kind of rice variety.
ST, a fragrant rice variety developed in Soc Trang, has developed well in saline water areas, including in rice-shrimp fields.
2011, the Delta has also officially put into cultivation 15 new
saline-resistant rice varieties. These varieties have high yield and can
grow in water with a content of 0.4-0.6 percent salt.
These varieties have been planted in Kien Giang, Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces.
Most of these farmers grow rice and raise shrimp on their fields, a model that has been used more frequently in recent years.
model areas have risen from a few thousand hectares in 2005 to
160,000ha last year, according to the Plant Cultivation Department under
the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
rice-shrimp farming model, farmers in coastal provinces let salt water
enter fields to farm shrimp in the dry season and use rainwater to grow
rice in the rainy season.
Vo Van Be, deputy director of
the Soc Trang Agriculture Extension Centre, said the province’s rice-shrimp farming model has been a success after two years.
In Soc Trang’s My Xuyen District, more than 10,000ha had been cultivated under the rice-shrimp farming model.
Bac Lieu Province, the rice-shrimp farming area has reached 28,700ha
and is expected to increase to 35,000-40,000ha by 2015, according to the
province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.-VNA