return icon

Measures needed to help Mekong Delta farmers cope with floods

 VietNamNet Bridge – More breakthrough solutions are needed to help farmers in the Mekong Delta cope with unpredictably rising water levels, 

VietNamNet Bridge – More breakthrough solutions are needed to help farmers in the Mekong Delta cope with unpredictably rising water levels, according to experts.


Farmer in Long An Province’s Khanh Hung Commune harvest linh fish during the flooding season. - VNA/VNS Photo Truong Giang

This year, floodwaters caused by heavy rains and water of the Mekong River have been rising at alarming levels, submerging thousands of hectares of rice and crops and causing losses for farmers in Mekong Delta provinces.

The water levels, which are higher than the average over the past decade, are forecast to reach warning Level 2 on the Tien and Hau rivers in the next few days.

Since early last month, flooding has struck An Giang, Dong Thap and Long An provinces. Local farmers have been relieved as increasing water helps wash away saline residue and brings in aquatic resources.

In the past two years, floods were either low or non-existent, causing severe drought and saline intrusion.

However, early and powerful flooding has caused unpredictable impacts for farmers.

Truong Bao Dung, a farmer in An Phu District’s Vinh Hau Commune in An Giang Province, said he set up a net of 20 metres to catch linh fish, a speciality in flood season, but had only caught one or two kilogrammes per day.

“The water is about 1.2 metres higher than the previous year and flowing very fast, sweeping away most of the fish out of the net,” he said.

Nguyen Van Coi, another farmer in the commune, is in the same situation. Coi said he only caught three or four kilogrammes of tiny fish, earning VND50,000 (US$2.1) per day.

Normally, he could earn up to VND200,000 ($8.6) per day.

Flooding has also affected the crops. Some 8,000 out of 111,000 hectares of rice are located outside the dyke system and at risk of being flooded. In Dong Thap Province, at least 150 hectares of crops outside dyke-protected areas have been submerged. Many dykes are likely to be affected by floods, forcing farmers to make an early harvest.

Solutions pose challenges

Over the years, farmers have been encouraged to plant three crops per year instead of four as usual to give the soil a rest. During this time, the water from the floods would enter the closed embankment and bring alluvium, fish and other aquatic resources to the region, improving productivity of crops and fishery resources for farmers.

However, after two years of facing drought due to low flood, many farmers have planted fruit trees instead of letting the soil rest and regain nutrition as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development encouraged.

Pham Thanh Tam, deputy head of An Phu District’s Agricultural Office, said many farmers whose crops are located in dyke-protected areas have asked authorities to stop discharging water as they had switched to fruit trees.

Le Van Ne, farmer in Da Phuoc Commune, said floodwaters have not been discharged for years. Ne has spent VND240 million ($10,320) to switch his rice crop into fruit trees on 1.2 hectares of soil since early this year to get more profit.

He has asked local authorities to keep pausing the discharge of floodwaters.

Total cultivated land in the commune is nearly 1,300 hectares. About 220 hectares of rice crops have been switched to fruit trees and subsidiary crops, with the farmers who haven’t losing out.

As a result, the ministry has targeted restructuring agricultural production in the Mekong Delta to be suitable with climate change and floodwaters.

In An Giang, five models of diversified livelihoods, which combine rice crops and shrimp farms and mushrooms and grass for cows, will be implemented in areas outside of dykes in Vinh Hau, Vinh Loc and Phu Huu communes in An Phu District.

The development of diversified livelihoods for farmers in low-lying areas is an urgent task. This would help ensure the lives of farmers, improve the quality of soil thanks to the floodwaters and ensure rice production in the region, which is considered the country’s rice granary.

More measures needed

According to the ministry’s General Department of Irrigation, five irrigation projects with total capital of more than VND4.7 trillion ($202 million) are needed to help farmers in the Mekong Delta live with floods.

Tran Anh Thu, director of An Giang Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province was conducting a project to improve the water adaptability and management of the upstream areas in the Mekong River in An Phu District.

It plans to focus on investing in dykes and embankments for floodwater storage.

In addition, policies on supporting and creating faith for farmers to implement the new livelihoods needed priority, experts said. Local authorities in the Mekong Delta should encourage co-operatives to apply the new models.

Local authorities should work with other sectors to attract enterprises to invest in the model from building processing factories to consumption and export to create more profit for farmers, they said.

Source: VNS

related news


25 Apple ’s partners have factories set up factories in Vietnam

The number of Apple manufacturing partners setting up their factories in Vietnam has increased to 25 at present, four more than the 2020 figure, the tech giant said in its list of supply partners for the fiscal year 2021.


Hanoi inaugurates new road tunnel to address traffic congestion

Netlflix asked to remove "Little Women" for distorting history

The request was made by the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information, under the Ministry of Information and Communications, according to Deputy Director General Le Quang Tu Do.

UOB upgrades 2022 growth forecast for Vietnam to 8.2%

Given Vietnam’s strong economic recovery in the third quarter, the Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB) has raised its forecast for the country’s GDP growth this year to 8.2%, from the previous prediction of 7%.

Vietnam rice prices surge on Indian rice export restrictions

Prices of Vietnamese rice surged in the global and domestic markets after India announced restrictions on broken rice exports and a 20% duty on exports of various other types.

Deaths of Adenovirus total nine, infections increase with many severe cases

The child died at the National Children's Hospital on Monday and is not thought to have any health issues but had been treated for the past 50 days and recently needed a ventilator.


Vietnamese fleet to handle a fifth of exports by 2030: transport ministry

A day in the life of a fisherman in ​​Mong Cai

After Van Don - Mong Cai highway opened for traffic in early September, the border city of Mong Cai became a new tourist attraction.

Vietnamese navy ship arrives at Lumut port, beginning Malaysian visit

Sailing Ship 286-Le Quy Don of the Vietnam Naval Academy and a delegation of the Vietnam People’s Navy arrived at Lumut port in the Malaysian state of Perak on October 4, beginning a visit to Malaysia.

Hanoi, CNN boost tourism promotion cooperation

CNN wishes to resume tourism promotion cooperation with Hanoi, thus contributing to introducing the capital city’s cultural identity and valuable traditions to the world, Senior Vice President of CNN Robert Bradley said.

Vietnam's brand value reaches $431 billion

According to the latest report of the world's leading brand valuation consulting company - Brand Finance, Vietnam's national brand value has increased by 11 percent in 2022, from $388 billion to $431 billion.

Unblocking capital sources for the economy

After the recent increase in credit limit, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has granted 13.6 percent of the total 14 percent credit room in 2022.

Share prices fall, billionaires lose big

Billionaire Tran Dinh Long’s assets have fallen by $1.6 billion this year, while billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong has lost $2 billion.

Video game helps promote Vietnamese culture, tourism

The video game “Lac Viet phieu luu ky” (Lac Viet Adventures) was selected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a promotional product on digital platforms at the Vietnam Days Abroad 2022 in Austria, India, and the Republic of Korea this year.

Over 100 Vietnamese citizens deported from China for illegal stay

106 Vietnamese citizens that stayed illegally in China were returned to Vietnamese authorities at the Ly Van Border Gate in the northern province of Cao Bang on Tuesday.