So said Le Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of the Crop Production Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, at a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 2 to discuss the role of the public - private partnership in the implementation of a project on sustainably developing 1 million ha of low-emission high-quality rice production in association with green growth in the Mekong Delta by 2030.

The Mekong Delta is working to sustainably develop 1 million ha of specialized and low-emission farming zones of high-quality rice.

Tung said that as the rice bowl of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta not only helps guarantee national food security but also substantially contributes to annual rice exports.

The project was built amid the fact that over the past years, the agricultural sector has carried out the Government’s Decree No 120/NQ-CP on the sustainable development of this region, but there remain certain shortcomings in rice production.

Production efficiency, farmers’ income, and the quality and competitiveness of export rice are still modest. While rice cultivation has yet to be truly sustainable amid climate change, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has fallen short of expectations, Tung pointed out.

The project looks to cut production costs by 20% (equivalent to 9.5 trillion VND, or 389.4 million USD, over an output of 13 million tons of unmilled rice by 2030) and raise unmilled rice prices by 10% compared to the grain produced by traditional methods. With an average price of 5.1 million VND per ton of unmilled rice, the 10% price increase will boost annual revenue from 1 million ha or 13 million tons by 7 trillion VND, thus raising profit from 1 million ha to over 16 trillion VND.

However, the official added there are numerous difficulties in the project implementation, and one of the challenges is how to attract investment.

The agricultural sector is calling on all parties, from cooperatives and businesses to international organizations, domestic and foreign experts, to engage in this project so as to mobilize all resources in society, including experience, technique and finance, for improving the quality and efficiency of the rice industry, he went on.

Tran Thanh Nam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said forming specialized zones of low-emission and high-quality rice in the Mekong Delta is a breakthrough project expected to help promote the added value throughout the entire rice production chain, raise farmers’ income, ensure sustainable development amid worsening climate change, contribute to green growth, and realize the Government’s commitments made at the 26th U,N, Climate Change Conference (COP26), including the target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The project will help production in high-quality rice farming zones be reorganized in value chains that better connect farmers, cooperatives, input suppliers, and rice purchasing companies. As a result, farmers will not only benefit from rice’s added value but also create sustainable cultivation processes, cut greenhouse gas emissions, save resources, recycle by-products of rice farming, raise the value of the Vietnamese rice brand in the market, according to the Deputy Minister.

Source: VNA