Using a modern rice-growing method, farmers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s rice basket, can harvest a total of one million more tonnes office per year from their paddy fields, according to a local scientist.
Dr Bui Chi Buu, director of the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute, said at a workshop in HCM City on Monday that some farmers have successfully used the Rice Check method, which the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) introduced to developing countries in 2002.
“The method can raise the average productivity by 300 kilograms of rice per hectare,” Buu said. “With 3.8 million hectares, of rice in total, the delta will get more than one million tonnes of rice more.” RiceCheck is similar to another method that the Agriculture Ministry wants to popularise across Vietnam. This method requires farmers to sow rice seeds less densely and use less insecticide and urea, leading to more productivity and higher quality.
Buu said Mekong Delta farmers now spread 70 kilograms of rice seeds per hectare with sowing machines. Before they sowed more than 200 kilograms of seeds per hectare.
Additionally, high-yielding rice varieties grow on 86% of the delta’s rice acreage, Buu said.
Delta farmers also use 40 kilograms less of urea per hectare and less insecticide now, saving costs and sparing the environment, Buu said.