News Archive
May 2024

Mekong Delta: Thousands of hectares of rice at risk due to early planting

Ignoring warnings from authorities, farmers in the Mekong Delta region are persisting in planting off-season rice for the 2024 summer-autumn crop, heightening the risk of huge loss.

Farmers in Vinh Hung District in Long An Province prepare land for the summer-autumn rice crop.

Despite the scheduled planting time for the 2024 summer-autumn rice crop not yet arrived, many farmers in districts of the Dong Thap Muoi area (Long An Province) have taken it upon themselves to begin planting. In Tan Hung District alone, nearly 8,000 out of 37,000 hectares designated for the 2024 summer-autumn rice crop have already been sown. The rice is currently in the early growth stage, mainly concentrated in low-lying areas.

Nguyen Van Dat, a farmer residing in Hung Dien A Commune, Vinh Hung District, noted that his family’s farmland lacks a complete embankment system. In previous rice crops, the floods came early, so they could not harvest in time, leading to economic losses. Hence, after harvesting the winter-spring rice crop, he promptly prepared the land, cleared the fields, and sowed 2.5 hectares of rice ahead of the seasonal schedule to ensure harvesting before the floods return.

In Ben Tre province, despite warnings from authorities, many farmers have planted the third rice crop. Currently, approximately 30 hectares of rice have been lost due to saltwater intrusion. The majority of the damaged rice fields in Ben Tre Province are located in Giong Trom District.

On May 2, information from the People’s Committee of Hong Dan district revealed that in mid-February 2024, due to the relatively high price of raw paddy and subjective assumptions about weather patterns, some farmers in freshwater areas deliberately planted crops, disregarding the seasonal schedule, on an area of approximately 4,000 hectares. Consequently, without supplementary freshwater, there is a high likelihood of extensive damage to this rice area in the near future.

Given the circumstances, Chairman Pham Van Thieu of the People’s Committee in Bac Lieu Province has directed the People’s Committee of Hong Dan District to actively collaborate with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to provide guidance and information to residents who grown rice early, regarding the implementation of measures for water storage, conservation, and the timely collection of freshwater to serve agricultural production.

Mr. Pham Van Thieu also emphasized the need to intensify propaganda efforts and mobilize farmers to cease early planting of summer-autumn crops and adhere to the seasonal planting schedule provided by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Local authorities should effectively implement policies and solutions for the 2024 summer-autumn crop and direct farmers not to plant in areas where consistent irrigation throughout the season cannot be ensured, as it poses risks to production safety.

By Ngoc Phuc, Tan Thai – Translated by Thuy Doan QR Code

Published Date: May 2, 2024

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