March 2, 2021 | 20:47 GMT +7

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Thursday- 19:24, 18/02/2021

13 department directors meet for the first time to resolve development in Mekong Delta

For the first time, 13 directors of the Mekong Delta provinces' Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development joined together at a meeting to find solutions for agricultural development in the region.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan speaks at the meeting held on February 18 with 13 department directors in the Mekong Delta provinces. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan speaks at the meeting held on February 18 with 13 department directors in the Mekong Delta provinces. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

Zalo group chat of 13 Department Directors of Agriculture and Rural Development

Deputy Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan and Tran Thanh Nam held a working session with Mekong Delta provinces' Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development to discuss agricultural orientation in the region.

Deputy Minister Le Minh Hoan said briefly on the eve of the meeting which was held on February 18 in the southern Can Tho City that: “The Ministry is very interested in initiatives represented by the directors.”

In response to the Deputy Minister's, 13 department leaders in the Mekong Delta provinces said they had already prepared their opinions for this meeting.

Most of them reported about achievements of the local agricultural sector in the past year and the difficulties in the coming time.

Some others proposed solutions for the agricultural industry in the region and the whole country such as those for issues about cooperatives, regional connection and building brands for Vietnamese agricultural products.

After hearing their reports and proposals of solutions, Deputy Minister Le Minh Hoan said: “What are we preparing for the coming time? The Mekong Delta agricultural sector should have a comprehensive development strategy. The agricultural goal is to prepare both for the short term and orientation for long term. Our mission is huge. We must have a vision of development or would be caught up in such issues as landslides, drought, prices ...”

He appealed for more cooperation and cohesion among the 13 department directors saying that: “We need to think bigger, not just about some issues around. Agriculture in the 4.0 era is entailing the circulation of digital agriculture. Our mission is to decode and actualize towards ecological and modern agriculture ...”

Speaking about regional connection, Deputy Minister Hoan said the most important thing of regional linkage is the linkage between economic spaces.

“The agricultural economic space of 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta is to have similar agricultural products,” according to Hoan.

“You, the directors of Agriculture and Rural Development Departments are those who can cover this space. You need to have a bulletin on the Mekong Delta agriculture and form a Zalo group chat for sharing the formation,” he added.

“Output should be enforced by reducing costs. We sell the value but not depend on prices,” he said.

A meaningful meeting

Deputy Minister Hoan highlighted meetings with local agricultural departments saying that the agricultural sector annually held meetings on every issue but it is very meaningful.

“Directors of theDepartment of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Mekong Delta region get together like this is really meaningful and we should maintain it. We need to sit back to do things better in the future and think about what we should do for next time?” Hoan said.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

After listening to a report from the Department of Crop Production, Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam pleasantly said: “The rice price this year is very high, this winter-spring rice crop sees a very good consumption.”

However, he said, the rice variety structure should be concerned about to suit the consuming market.

“For fruits, it is really the Mekong Delta’s strength, but that is now being affected by the low quality and salinity. We need to think more about pre-processing and processing of fruit.”

For the first time, all 13 department directors join a meeting

For the first time, all 13 Directors of the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development attended the New Year occasion. Many issues had been raised in this event such as water security, cooperative development, OCOP and agricultural restructuring.

Mr Le Quang Manh, Secretary of the Can Tho City Party Committee. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

Mr Le Quang Manh, Secretary of the Can Tho City Party Committee. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

It is agreed that agriculture in Mekong Delta is a strength, but there are still many concerns. The region relies on agriculture and rice for too long so this had resulted in limited agricultural achievements. Today's trend is moving very fast, so the agricultural transformation should also be more speedy. The disadvantages and limitations of agriculture need to be considered for development. Investment in agriculture needs to stick to Resolution 120 and adapt to climate change.

The cooperatives model is a salvation

The current cooperative model is recognized as salvation to solve problems. To be successful, it must cover multi-purposes. Cooperatives have to be able to do business in agricultural and non-agricultural services. Successful cooperatives must harmonize their benefits. Cooperatives in the Mekong Delta account for 13% of the total number in the country, equal to an average of 69 people per cooperative.

Dr. Tran Minh Hai, Director of Center for Cooperation in Economic Training and Consultancy (School of Agriculture and Rural Development Management Officials Training Unit II). Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

Dr. Tran Minh Hai, Director of Center for Cooperation in Economic Training and Consultancy (School of Agriculture and Rural Development Management Officials Training Unit II). Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

Dong Thap Province has issued many resolutions to develop cooperatives, so it has developed very strongly. The model of developing co-operative clubs in Dong Thap is a typical example.

Mekong Delta needs to invest in building artificial reservoirs

The Mekong Delta currently has 14 irrigation systems being under construction. Water flow to the region is significantly decreasing, so it is necessary to change the structure of crops and cultivation plans. The amount of sediment varies greatly and landslides are more complicated. Mekong Delta region mainly receives water from two sources of the Mekong River and lakes, but they are currently standing at very low levels. This has resulted in a more serious situation of saline intrusion in the area.

Dr. Tran Ba Hoang, Director of Southern Institute of Water Resources Science. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

Dr. Tran Ba Hoang, Director of Southern Institute of Water Resources Science. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

Orientation to protect freshwater resources for the Mekong Delta in the coming time needs to focus on investment in building artificial reservoirs to store water. Production should be planned to reduce the excessive use of freshwater. The Mekong Delta has many advantages compared to other regions but is being affected by climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to have a strategic vision to optimize the natural advantages of this land.

It is necessary to restart rice export groups

The winter-spring crop of 2020-2021 has basically overcome saline droughts. The average yield of rice is about 7 tons/ha. It can be said that the yield is the highest in a year. Currently, there are 3 rice varieties groups: one for processing, the two others are high quality and specialty groups. According to forecasts, the rice export potential is very large, so there is no fear of falling rice prices.

Mr. Le Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of Department of Plantation. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

Mr. Le Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of Department of Plantation. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.

It is necessary to restart rice export groups in the coming time. As for fruit trees, there are 5 types for export. When setting orientation, production needs to be estimated and forecasted along with digital maps. The ultimate goal must be to increase the product value./.

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