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Mekong Delta needs to be innovative to overcome climate change

The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta Region needs to be more innovative in production to grow sustainably in the context of climate change and environmental and integration challenges, experts have said.

Economist Pham The Trung told the 2019 Mekong Connect-CEO Forum in Can Tho city this week that the region needed to urgently address the global warming and integration issues.

It should work to change the perceptions and actions of farmers and businesses and enhance the use of technology to come up with safe products meeting the demands of both local and foreign consumers, he said.

Agriculture in the Mekong Delta faces challenges like scarcity of land and water, natural disasters, failure to use technology, poor infrastructure, low labour productivity, and a lack of links between stakeholders, according to Trung.

Besides, investment in the sector, including public investment, remains low, though some public companies have entered recently.

To overcome the problems, the delta should focus on institutional reforms, enabling farmers to pool land to create medium- to large-scale farms, strengthening mechanisation in agriculture and creating agricultural value chains, he said.

Delegates also called for establishing close links between localities in the region as well as between them and HCM City.

"Links are key to mitigating the region’s environmental problems, finding outlets for their agricultural produce and attracting human resources from outside," Le Tuan Anh, another economist, said.

An Giang, Ben Tre, Can Tho, and Dong Thap had cooperated for a programme called ABCD Mekong to jointly invest and develop certain products, and it would be a good lesson for others, he added.

The delta, home to 13 cities and provinces, plays an important role in the country’s economy, accounting for 80 per cent of its rice exports and nearly 60 per cent of seafood exports./.