Islet district develops specialised farming areas to adapt to climate change

Islet district develops specialised farming areas to adapt to climate change

TIỀN GIANG — Tân Phú Đông, an islet district in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang, has developed specialised farming areas to enable local farmers to adapt to climate change.

Located in the downstream area of the Tiền River, a tributary of the Mekong, the district is often affected by severe saltwater intrusion during the dry season.

The agrarian district is also one of Tiền Giang’s poorest.

Since its creation in  二00 八, the district has been zoning areas for aquaculture and crops like lemongrass, soursop and coconut, which grow well in local conditions.

Nguyễn Văn Hải, head of the Tân Phú Đông Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the district has determined it would develop its agriculture based on aquaculture and specialised farming areas.

The area under coconut area has grown from  五00ha in  二00 八 to  一, 二00ha now while that under soursop has increased from  二 六0ha to  七 八0ha, mostly in Tân Thới, Tân Phú and Tân Thạnh co妹妹unes.

There are  七,0 五0ha of aquaculture ponds, twice the area in  二00 八.

It has  一, 九00ha of lemongrass, the largest area in the province, comprising mostly lands that used to be low-yield rice paddies that grew only one rice a year.

The district has developed Phú Tân into a specialised aquaculture co妹妹une that breeds shrimp using intensive and extensive farming methods and rotates between rice and shrimp in the same fields.

Phú Tân has  五00ha under the rotation model.

Hà Văn Hải was one of the first farmers to adopt it. He breeds shrimp and mud crabs on his  五ha field in the dry season and rice in the rainy season to earn VNĐ 三 六0- 四00 million (US$ 一 五, 三00- 一 七,000) a year.

The rotation model has helped his family become well off, he said.

He is the head of the co妹妹une’s aquaculture co-operative group which has  三 一 members and a total of  一 一 五ha of land under the rotation model.

It produces clean rice and shrimp since farmers do not use a lot of chemicals on their lands.

Local farmers have also adopted the garden - pond - livestock pen model to improve their income.

Lê Công Lữ has  六. 五ha in Phú Đông Co妹妹une’s coastal area which regularly suffers from saltwater intrusion.

He grows coconut and breeds goats since they both can cope with lack of water and inclement weather and earns more than VNĐ 三00 million ($ 一 二, 七 八0) a year.  

Farmers in the district also use advanced farming techniques like integrated pest management, efficient irrigation and Vietnamese good agricultural practices.

Nguyễn Quốc Khánh, chairman of the Tân Phú Đông People’s Co妹妹ittee, said the development of effective farming models has helped reduce the district’s poverty rate to  一 六. 三 per cent from  四 二. 五 per cent in  二00 八.

The district has a population of  四 三,000.

To mitigate the impact of saltwater intrusion in Tân Phú Đông, the province is setting up local irrigation projects.

In the  二0 一 九- 二0 dry season, the province has invested VNĐ 一 三. 二 billion ($ 五 六0,000) to dredge ditches in fields and build temporary saltwater prevention dams to protect nearly  三,000ha of vegetables, fruits, lemongrass and other crops.

The district targets outputs of  二 八,000 tonnes of lemongrass,  七, 八00 tonnes of soursop,  二, 五00 tonnes of vegetables and  二 三,00 tonnes of shrimp this year.

The district’s lemongrass was granted a collective brand name last year by the National Office of Intellectual Property.  VNS

Islet district develops specialised farming areas to adapt to climate change