Thousands of hectares of farmland in the central region were likely to face severe water shortages for the summer-autumn rice crop, according to the General Department of Irrigation.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has allocated VND800 million (nearly US$34,000) to five provinces which have declared an emergency due to saltwater intrusion.
Experts believe that it is necessary to think of measures to lead water to the Mekong Delta through a transmission network to save the area from severe drought and saline intrusion.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently had a working session with localities declaring an emergency because of drought and saline intrusion in Mekong Delta, including Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Kien Giang and Ca Mau.
Rice farmers in the Mekong Delta are earning higher incomes from selling rice straw left over from the harvested 2019 – 20 winter-spring rice crop.
Nguyen Huu Thien, an independent expert on the Mekong Delta, said he warned of severe drought and saline intrusion in mid-2019 after observing the flood season and the salty-fresh water boundary of the river.
Authorities and farmers in the Central Highlands region are taking measures to cope with severe drought to reduce damages to crops.
While most farm export items met with difficulties in the first months of the year, rice exports unexpectedly soared as the world increased its reserves.
Hundreds of hectares of rice fields in Binh Thuan Commune, Binh Dinh Province are being abandoned due to serious drought.
Though saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta comes earlier and with higher level of salinity than that recorded in the 2015-16 dry season, the damages to farming areas are expected to be less serious
All forests south of the Hau River in the Mekong Delta have been facing the threat of fire since the middle of this month, and any fire would spread very quickly because of the heat and low humidity, local authorities have warned.
The UN Development Programme and the Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development signed an agreement on March 17 to support the Mekong Delta’s response to drought and saltwater intrusion.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has called on provinces in the south-central coastal and Central Highlands regions to take measures to minimise the impacts of drought on summer-autumn crops.
The Mekong Delta region has been badly hit by saltwater intrusion. Experts have warned that the region will have to suffer prolonged drought and saline intrusion during the rest of this year’s dry season.
Farmers have been still struggling to maintain agricultural production during prolonged hot weather in the coastal central province of Ninh Thuan.