TIỀN GIANG – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang has invested in 70 in-field irrigation projects on 27,000ha of farming land in the coastal districts of Gò Công Đông and Gò Công Tây during the 2020 – 21 dry season.
The projects, which cost a total of VNĐ15 billion (US$650,000), include building or upgrading in-field irrigation canals and ditches that ensure water and help to prevent saltwater intrusion in the dry season.
The projects have protected more than 18,000ha of rice, 6,000ha of vegetables and 3,000ha of other crops from water shortage and saltwater intrusion in the winter – spring crop.
They have also helped to secure daily-use water for 38,000 households in coastal areas.
In Gò Công Đông, besides investing in in-field irrigation canals and ditches, local authorities have built four new sluices for taking irrigation water since the beginning of the dry season.
The district has organised the collection of rubbish and water hyacinths on in-field irrigation canals and ditches so that irrigation water can flow easily into each field.
The district has taken measures to restructure agricultural production to suit each area, according to local authorities.
In the winter – spring crop, farmers in Gò Công Đông have expanded cultivation of vegetables and other crops on 1,500ha.
Gò Công Đông and Gò Công Tây districts normally face severe saltwater intrusion in the dry season and face shortage of irrigation water at the end of the winter – spring crop.
The two districts have also expanded advocacy activities about the impact of saltwater intrusion to the public.
Local authorities in the two districts have encouraged farmers to dredge irrigation ditches in orchards to preserve fresh water for irrigation.
Ngô Văn Dũng, head of the Gò Công Tây Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the district has invested in irrigation projects and taken measures to cope with saltwater intrusion and drought.
Besides investing in in-field irrigation canals and ditches, the district has built 124 temporary dams to preserve irrigation water for the dry season, he said.
In the ongoing winter – spring crop, the two districts have solved the shortage of irrigation water for growing rice and other crops as more irrigation projects have been built and the winter – spring crop rice was planted earlier than normal.
Farmers are having a bumper harvest of winter – spring rice, getting a yield of 6.5 tonnes per hectares, up 1.2 tonnes against the last winter – spring crop, according to local authorities.
Profits from growing vegetables are two to three times higher than from rice, said local authorities. – VNS
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