Making news

Soc Trang increasingly switches to speciality rice varieties

The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Soc Trang plans to increase the cultivation of speciality rice varieties to improve farmers’ incomes.
It will develop 21 concentrated speciality rice farming areas by 2025 with cultivation and consumption stakeholders having linkages, 80 models that adapt to climate change and have similar linkages, and brand names for five cooperatives.

This year it hopes to produce 2 million tonnes of paddy, with high-quality and speciality varieties accounting for 92%.

Tran Tan Phuong, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said to achieve the targets the province would develop speciality rice in nine localities – Nga Nam township, Soc Trang city and the districts of Tran De, My Xuyen, Thanh Tri, My Tu, Chau Thanh, Long Phu, and Ke Sach.

It would improve the operation of 50 cooperatives, including 20 that produce seeds, he said.

It would reduce cultivation of average- and low-quality varieties and increase that of fragrant speciality varieties, and grow the grain to organic and clean standards, he said.

It would apply advanced farming techniques, strengthen trade promotion and organise seminars on developing linkages between co-operatives, cooperative groups and rice processors, he added.

The department said last year farmers planted 332,700ha of rice and harvested more than two million tonnes, with high-quality and speciality varieties like ST24, ST25, Tai Nguyen, RVT, and Dai Thom 8 accounting for almost 92%.

The province has 21 concentrated speciality rice growing areas with a total area of 2,100ha.

More and more farmers use advanced techniques to grow the grain, thus increasing yields and reducing costs.

Lam Anh Tai, who planted 1.5ha of the Dai Thom 8 variety in the winter-spring crop in Chau Thanh district’s Phu Tam commune, said he used a machine to sow seeds and used fewer seeds for sowing than traditional methods and this helped reduce the requirement by 50%.

Traditionally, farmers sow a large number of seeds, which means the rice plants do not have enough space for full development, making yields low.

Tai got a yield of 6 tonnes per hectare.

The harvest of the crop is expected to be completed in March, according to the local Plant Protection and Cultivation Sub-department./.