Rice production in the Mekong Delta needs more modern technologies and better cooperation among farmers, experts said during a conference in Can Tho city on Friday.
The rate of machinery use in agriculture in the delta is higher compared to other regions in Vietnam. However, the area’s rice processing capability is only average when compared to other Asian regions, which makes it harder for Vietnamese rice to compete with other rice exporting countries, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Agro Processing and Market Development Authority.
Rice from the Mekong Delta accounts for over 90 per cent of Vietnam’s rice exports. The area has produced more than 31 million tonnes of rice this year, about one tonne more than last year, according to the ministry’s Department of Crop Production.
Rice production, however, remains inefficient because of the lack of co-operation between farmers, the inconsistent quality of production materials, and the inefficient usage of medicine, fertilisers and seeds, all of which hinders profits.
In addition, the country’s supporting industry and logistics sector remain lacklustre at a time when the global supply of rice is on the rise.
Revenue from rice exports could fall if a solution was not found, said Tran Thanh Hai, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import-Export Department.
Nguyen Van Sanh, former director of the Mekong Delta Development Research Institute, said that more support policies for rice farmers would encourage more production.
Farmers who earn low profits could one day decide to quit growing rice, he noted.
Agro Processing and Market Development Authority deputy head Dinh Viet Tu said the Mekong Delta should use modern machinery and large-scale farming, and closely monitor rice production in the region.
Vietnam Food Association deputy chairman Do Ha Nam said the income of farmers could be improved by linking provinces and encouraging co-operation between the government, businesses, farmers and scientists.
The conference was organised by the Saigon Times newspaper and Vietnam Food Association. viet nam news