After years of construction, the irrigation project in the west of Vam Co river is about to be put into operation, which is expected to be a lever to promote agricultural structuring and socio-economic development in the western region of Tay Ninh province and surrounding areas.
According to Tay Ninh Province Agricultural Construction and Investment Project Management Board, the irrigation project in the west of Vam Co River is a grade II irrigation project, with a total investment of VND 1.147 trillion, approved by the provincial People's Committee.
It construction started on April 27, 2018. On January 6, 2022, Tay Ninh Provincial People's Committee decided to increase investment capital by nearly VND98 billion, bringing the total adjusted investment to more than VND1.246 trillion.
The project includes 16.67km long water transfer canal system, of which more than 2.3km is a water conduction system crossing Vam Co river with a steel pipe structure of 2D-2.4m diameter.
Roads for rudimentary vehicles to serve the travel needs of people and the management and operation are built on both sides. The main irrigation canal route is 29.41km long and the system of 17 grade I canals has a total length of over 71km.
Up to now, over 95 per cent of the project's work have been completed. In particular, the system of water transfer canals and main irrigation canals have been completed according to the design. In particular, the highlight of the project is the most modern water conduction system across the Vam Co river in the region, the largest scale trough pipe system in Vietnam.
The system has also been completed on schedule.“The project has initially put into operation the water transfer canal route from K0 to K10+027, opening the canal to test loading and serving irrigation water for people in the communes of An Co, Hao Duoc and Tri Binh of Chau Thanh district.
"The managment board is implementing phase 2 of the project, in which, the main canal will be concreted through the communes of Hoa Hoi, Thanh Long, Ninh Dien (Chau Thanh district) and Long Phuoc (Ben Cau district). It is expected that by 2024, it will be completed and open water for the entire project", said Nguyen Quoc Cuong, Head of the Investment and Construction Project Management Board of the agricultural sector in Tay Ninh province.
Although Tay Ninh has a relatively complete irrigation system, agricultural production faces difficulties as its relatively high soil characteristics, mainly sandy soil, located near the border, relatively far from the Vam Co river. Agriculture in the two purely agricultural districts of Chau Thanh and Ben Cau is very difficult, because of the lack of water for production, even for domestic use.
The project to bring the water of Dau Tieng lake across the Vam Co river is expected by the authorities and local people, providing enough water for production.
As one of the first households to use water from the canal system, Nguyen Van Thanh, Tri Binh commune, Chau Thanh district said that the section of the canal through the commune area was filled with water, creating favorable conditions for farmers to cultivate. To irrigate more than 1.2ha of newly planted cassava, Thanh connects the pipe with the upper channel system that directs water to the field.
“In the past, to have enough water to irrigate crops, I and the surrounding households had to drill wells to pump underground water, install pumps continuously for 7-10 days / irrigation. By the end of the crop, the electricity bill was almost VND4 million, not to mention in the process of pumping and watering many times the machinery was damaged due to continuous operation. The project's operation really quenches the thirst of the fields here, helping farmers save production costs and improve crop productivity," Thanh excitedly said.
Seeing the irrigation canal of the irrigation project, Vo Van Dong, Director of Long Khanh Agricultural Cooperative, Ben Cau district excitedly shared, the cooperative has 15 official members and nearly 100 production links on 150ha of biomass corn supply to Vinamilk Tay Ninh dairy farm.
Previously, most of the members cultivated rice with only one crop per year, some households switched to biomass maize cultivation. Although the shortage of water for production often occurs, thanks to the application of mechanisation and advanced technical measures, the cultivation of corn still brings twice as much profit as rice even though it can only produce 2 crops per year.
“Currently, the cooperative's corn products are being consumed by Vinamilk for VND1,350/kg. After deducting expenses, the profit is more than VND50 million/year/ha. When there is water for irrigation, people will no longer have to wait for rain or to collect water. We will expand the area to 1,000 ha and intensively cultivate 3 crops a year," said Dong.
According to Nguyen Van Nau, Deputy Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ben Cau district, the district was a purely agricultural district, with a cultivated land area of about 27,000 ha.
Currently, the district has built 5 pumping stations along with a system of irrigation canals to bring water to the fields for irrigation of one plantation crop and two rice crops with a total area of 3,205 ha, ensuring water for fire prevention and fighting for nearly 740ha of forest in Long Phuoc and Ninh Dien communes.Most of the pumping stations are operating efficiently, ensuring over 80 per cent of the designed capacity.
However, the area of land that needs irrigation water in the district is still very large, mostly in the communes of Long Giang, Long Chu, and Long Khanh.
When the project is put into operation, it will serve water to irrigate nearly 10,000 ha of agricultural land, contributing to the structuring, improving productivity and the lives of people in border areas.
Nguyen Dinh Xuan, Director of Tay Ninh Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the whole province currently has more than 1,740 irrigation canals at all levels and 365 drainage channels, with a total irrigation design area of about 66,974ha. In the province, small irrigation systems, in-field irrigation are interested in investment, ensuring water supply for irrigation, drainage, flood control and drought resistance.
Notably, the project of bringing the water of Dau Tieng lake across the Vam Co river is a huge and meaningful work, not only serving thousands of hectares of agricultural land in the western region of Vam Co river, but also serving industrial parks and local people's daily use. It will help attract large-scale enterprises to choose the locality as an investment destination in the agricultural sector.
The People's Committee of Tay Ninh province has issued Decision 2214/QD-UBND approving the irrigation plan for the period 2016 - 2025, with a vision to 2035 with a total investment of about VND3.589 trillion, of which, the central budget supports VND715 billion, the provincial and district budgets, businesses and people VND2.874 trillion.
The province targets to ensure a stable water supply from irrigation works for about 81,600 hectares of crops by 2025, reaching the rate of 39.5 per cent compared to the total area of 206,650 ha of crops to be irrigated; supplying water to serve the needs of industrial production and daily life with a total capacity of 244,850 cu.m/day for industrial parks and urban residential areas.
Translated by Hien Anh
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