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Central farmers make efforts to maintain cultivation during Covid-19 pandemic

Drought and the Covid-19 pandemic have been heavily affecting the lives of people across the country and the Central of Vietnam.

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Despite difficulties, farmers in the Central provinces still maintain production and cultivation to create agricultural products, vegetables, and fruits to serve their lives, increase their incomes, and support Covid-19-hit areas in the province and the South.

Sticking to the fields

After the Covid-19 pandemic broke out again in Ho Chi Minh City and Southern provinces, farmers in the Central have strived to collect agricultural products to send to people in the South. Especially, many farmers have donated their whole vegetable fields to support people in pandemic-hit areas. For instance, Nguyen Thi Thu, a farmer in Village 3 of Nghia Dung Commune in Quang Ngai City of Quang Ngai Province, gave 820kg of pumpkin, 350kg of winter melon, 70kg of garlic, 115kg of lime, and 180kg of papaya. Cao Nguyen Duy Cuong, a farmer in Village 6 of Nghia Dung Commune, donated 200kg of winter melon, 200kg of papaya, and 150kg of jicama to send to people in the South and HCMC.

Nghia Dung Commune has 90ha of short-term vegetables and fruits. The commune supplies more than 2,000 tons of vegetables and fruits to the market annually. The 66-year-old farmer Le Minh Nong said that he had donated over 2 tons of agricultural products for people in HCMC. He only spared 500-600kg of vegetables and fruits for sale to generate income for the new crop.

Vo Van Tin, a 64-year-old farmer in Phuoc Hiep Commune in Tuy Phuoc District of Binh Dinh Province, confided that they had never had a year of farming under such complicated pandemic conditions like this year. Farmers were concerned about consumption and price. However, they were also aware that the whole country was facing many difficulties, so at this time, they need to stick to the fields to cultivate to support the province and Southern provinces to fight the pandemic.

Timely removing difficulties for farmers

Mr. Pham Long Thang, Director of Phuoc Hiep Cooperative in Tuy Phuoc District, said that the cooperative had 255 households, cultivating 13.5 hectares of land for fruits and vegetables under the VietGAP model. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, traders purchased farm produce slowly, so nearly 70 percent of agricultural products were stuck. Fortunately, supermarkets have been increasing their purchasing power by 400-500kg per day at stable prices, so difficulties have been partly reduced for farmers. At present, the cost of Covid-19 tests for drivers and steersmen of the cooperative is relatively large. Therefore, the cooperative hopes that the province will support this expense to ease pressure on the unit to facilitate the transport of agricultural products for smooth consumption, as well as to support people in areas under lockdown.

Nearly 6,700 hectares of summer-autumn rice of farmers in An Nhon Town of Binh Dinh Province are ready for harvest while the province is implementing social distancing following Directive No.16 of the Prime Minister. To support farmers, local authority directs agricultural cooperatives to coordinate with village heads and contract with the owners of combine harvesters to harvest rice for farmers. The locality requires the owners of combine harvesters, drivers, and mechanics to have a negative Covid-19 test result within three days. The local authority will arrange accommodations for them while they work in the pandemic-hit areas.

Mr. Dao Van Hung, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Binh Dinh Province, said that the province still prioritized maintaining transport routes of cargo and agricultural products on National Highway 1A. Therefore, shipments of goods and agricultural products can be supplied to the South smoothly. For local people, the agricultural sector has mobilized businesses to flexibly place orders to supply the local market, supermarkets, and isolation areas sufficiently so that people can feel assured to prevent the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Phu Yen is asking units and enterprises to study and open transport routes to bring goods, agricultural products, and aquatic products of farmers of this province to supply the southern markets, including pandemic-hit areas in HCMC and Binh Duong Province.

Vice-Chairman of the Farmers' Association of Quang Ngai Province Tran Ngoc Vinh said that the provincial Farmers Support Fund had disbursed more than VND5.2 billion for hundreds of farmers to carry out projects on growing shallot and garlic and raising livestock and poultry. Meanwhile, Binh Dinh Province’s Farmers Support Fund has facilitated and maintained 447 agricultural development projects of 1,269 farmer households with a total loan of nearly VND62 billion. With these loans, localities want to help farmers continue to maintain production, contributing to serving the essential needs of local people.

 

Source: SGGP

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