Making news

Saltwater intrusion affects seedling production in Ben Tre

Saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre is affecting seedling production and farmers have taken measures to secure irrigation water, according to local authorities.

Saltwater intrusion has occurred 45 – 76km up the province’s main rivers, causing salinity of 1 - 4 parts per thousand, affecting three fourths of Cho Lach district, which is situated furthest from the sea.

The district’s farmers now regularly monitor the salinity of irrigation canals and rivers to draw water and store in ponds or containers when it is low and suitable for irrigation.

Many have to buy water from elsewhere. Others have adopted efficient irrigation methods like automatic spraying systems or are manually irrigating the roots of seedlings.

Bui Thanh Liem, head of the Cho Lach Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, said after the severe saltwater intrusion in the 2015 – 2016 dry season, seedling farmers in Cho Lach have proactively taken measures to cope with the salinity since seedlings are not very resistant to saltwater.

Authorities have taught farmers water storing models and farming techniques to mitigate the impact of saltwater intrusion, he said.

Saltwater intrusion is forecast to occur until May./.