It’s 2am in the rice field of Tam Hung Commune, Thanh Oai District in the western outskirts of Hanoi. The darkness overwhelms the immense space. Surrounding villages are still deep in sound sleep.
Only the sounds of frogs and crickets echo in the field.
Groups of farmers work in the field. The faint light from battery lamps on their heads shed light on the land they are working on.
Farmers work very early in the morning till 8am to avoid the strong sun. VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Viet
Local farmers like others in the north and central region are kicking off their summer-autumn crop. In the past weeks, severe sunny days have forced them to work at night to avoid the heat. The outside temperature has exceeded 40 Celsius degrees in the day, especially at noon.
However, while working at night, the most experienced farmers can only work at half of their full capacity compared to daylight.
“Our family gets up at 3am to plant young rice,” said Nguyen Thi Chung, a local farmer. “We work till around 8am and then rest. The sun is so strong these days. We can hardly bare working in the field without any shade."
The lamp attracts insects, which distract the farmers. VNA/VNS Photo
When the sun is strong, water in the field is hot and the young rice plants can be wither and die, Chung said.
Yet wearing a battery light on the head attracts insects. Farmers have to both work and wipe them away.
“It’s tiring working at night but it’s cooler,” farmer Nguyen Thi My said.
“It’s better than working under the strong sun when we can hardly breathe. Let alone the young rice may die and we would have to plant again."
Farmer Kieu Van Hai in the commune possesses some 720sq.m of rice field. At the beginning of each crop, he and his wife plant young rice.
Farmers plant rice at night to use the daytime to do other jobs. VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Viet
"Our total rice area does not provide enough rice for us the whole year-round,” said Hai. “That’s why we plant rice at night and use the daytime to work at factories or restaurants to earn more money.”
Working in the rice fields is hard work but locals persevere despite the brutal weather. VNS
Hordes of farmers in Thanh Oai district of Hanoi have to bring flashlights with them to sow rice at night instead of doing so in the daytime when temperatures can reach above 40 degrees Celsius.
Farmers in Thanh Hoa Province work their rice fields at nights to avoid the scorching sun.