Many hydroelectric reservoirs are experiencing critically low water levels while the hot summer season has just begun. The power sector has urgently suggested measures to cut down and save electricity during the challenging summer of 2023.
The Mekong Delta has faced saline intrusion since December last year, while the Central Highlands are entering its dry season. This calls for proper solutions from the local authorities to help citizens cope with the harsh situation.
At the conference on implementing solutions to develop livestock and fisheries in the new situation held on the morning of April 26, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said that aquaculture farmers are facing many difficulties and only maintain a farming area of 1.3 million hectares with a production of about 4.75 million tons this year.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) stated that although the rice-growing areas reduced, increasing rice yields, stable export of rice, and high selling prices have been beneficial for farmers at a conference to preliminarily summarize the production of the winter-spring rice crop 2020-2021, and deploy production of the summer-autumn, autumn-winter, and the winter rice crops in the South, held on the morning of March 24 in Can Tho.
The People's Committee of Kien Giang Province, on March 11, informed that from the beginning of this month, saltwater intrusion in the area has increased highly, with more than 1,234 hectares of rice being affected. Of which, there were 769 hectares of rice with damage of above 70 percent, concentrating in An Bien, Vinh Thuan, and U Minh Thuong districts.
In recent days, the export prices of Vietnamese rice have continued to top rice exporting countries, surpassing those of Thailand, India, and Pakistan. Typically, on January 22, the export price was at US$523 per ton for five-percent broken rice, $498 per ton for 25-percent broken rice, and $438 per ton for 100-percent broken rice. Last year, the export prices of Vietnamese rice also took the highest position many times.
In recent days, farmers in the Mekong Delta have been flexibly sowing the winter-spring rice crop early to avoid drought and saltwater intrusion at the end of the rice crop. Not only using high-quality rice varieties, but the percentage of farmers using certified rice varieties has also increased rapidly. These are important turning points in improving the quality of rice to enhance the value of Vietnamese rice in the international market.
Although the Mekong Delta officially entered this year’s rainy and stormy season but small amplitude of floods made local people worry about drought-related natural hazards for the dry season of 2020-2021.
Agriculture is an important sector of Vietnam especially the Mekong Delta, considered as the 'Rice bowl' of Vietnam; however, climate change and drought have made serious impacts on agriculture in the region.
From the beginning of this year, the developments in the weather were quite complicated, causing disadvantages for agricultural production. Fortunately, thanks to proactive suitable coping measures, farmers in provinces in the Mekong Delta achieved goods results in the winter-spring rice crop and now are harvesting summer-autumn rice crop with the expectation of good harvest and high price.
Saltwater intrusion and drought had damaged 16,500 hectares of winter rice crop grown on shrimp-farming land in Ca Mau Province last year; of which, 14,000 hectares of winter rice had been completely lost.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Tra Cu District in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh on May 4 said that due to the negative impacts of prolonged saltwater intrusion and drought on crops, along with low prices, many farmers are no longer interested in sugarcane.
In the Central Highlands of Vietnam, the coffee tree is the main crop with a total area of around 620,000 hectares, concentrating most in Dak Lak, Lam Dong, and Dak Nong provinces. The unusual developments of the weather have caused the water levels in lakes and rivers in the Central Highlands to recede and the situation is forecast to last for a long time, posing risks of water shortage for coffee cultivation.