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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        2  July  2011

Large-scale farming comes to Vietnam

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Several dozen large-scale rice fields with areas of between 100 and 2,000 hectares have been put to use in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta for the ongoing summer-autumn rice crop.

This is the result of a program launched in March by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to have rice grown on large-scale farms throughout the Mekong Delta, which has 12 provinces and Can Tho City.

The programme follows the successful implementation of the delta's first large-scale rice farm, covering an area of more than 1,000ha in An Giang Province, for the 2010-11 winter-spring rice crop.

For this year's summer-autumn rice crop, the programme targets that all the Delta provinces as well as Can Tho City would set up at least one large-scale farm on a pilot basis and increase the number later by having farmers join together under large production organisations.

Under the first production model, the Vinh Binh Rice Farm in Chau Thanh District's Vinh Binh Commune was organised by the An Giang Plant Protection Company.

It brought together 458 farming households whose fields were located near each other. They planted their rice on the same day and tended to their fields with production techniques provided by company officials.

The company supplied the rice seeds, fertilisers and other inputs in advance to the farmers without any interest rate, and bought all harvested paddy.

In the last winter-spring rice crop, the production cost of one kilo of paddy in the Vinh Binh Farm was 30 per cent lower than that of individual, small-scale farms, the company claimed. With a yield of 8-9 tonnes per hectare, participating farmers earned a profit of more than 150 per- cent, it said.

Doan Ngoc Pha, deputy director of the An Giang Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "For this summer-autumn crop, An Giang has more than 3,000 hectares of large-scale rice farms in Thoai Son and Chau Thanh districts."

He said the An Giang Plant Protection Company and the An Giang Export Import Company invested in rice seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, provided "clean-production techniques" and guaranteed outlets for participating farmers.

The Plant Cultivation Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said it planned to expand the area of large-scale farms in the southern region to 20,00—40,000ha next year and to 50,000-80,000ha in 2013


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