MARD Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh (2nd from the right) visits a rice field in Kien Giang province. Photo:
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) held a conference in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang on September 10th, looking into the production of certified rice seeds in the region.

MARD’s Department of Crop Production reported that certified rice seeds accounted for 15 percent of rice varieties grown in the Mekong Delta, meaning that a large number of crops grown came from low quality seeds, thus affecting the entire region’s rice quality and productivity.

The Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute was recently tasked with connecting farmers to businesses producing and supplying certified rice seeds.

The project is set to cover more than 2,000ha of farmland with a targeted output of 5 tonnes per hectare, increasing the rate of certified rice seeds used in the region to 50 – 55 percent by 2016.

Dr. Tran Ngoc Thach, Deputy Director of the institute, said nine Mekong Delta localities have planted close to 550ha of certified rice seeds for this year’s summer-autumn crop, with an average output of 5.3 tonnes per hectare.

He hoped the project will provide more than 2,800 tonnes of high-quality certified rice seeds for the approaching autumn-winter and winter-spring crops.

During the conference, participants also pointed out a number of barriers to the project’s expansion, such as a shortage of funding and high production costs.

They said in order to realise the 2016 target, local authorities need to help farmers and businesses access loans with concessional terms and provide them with price subsidies, while encouraging companies to export rice grown from certified seeds.

Meanwhile, MARD Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh asked the Department of Crop Production to revamp Vietnam’s rice cultivation to avoid too many varieties being planted in the Mekong Delta region.

Source: VNA