Center to be set up for Mekong Delta agriculture development

By Nguyen Anh    May 19, 2022 | 11:37 pm PT
Center to be set up for Mekong Delta agriculture development
Farmers harvest shrimps in the Mekong Delta's province of Bac Lieu. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Anh
A center to provide guidelines for agricultural production in the Mekong Delta will be established in Can Tho City.

The Mekong Delta Agricultural Product Center would act as a hub connecting farmers, producers and traders, Duong Tan Hien, deputy chairman of Can Tho, said at a conference held Thursday to collect opinions on it.

The "one-stop, multi-service" center would cover the production and processing of agriculture products, provide a warehouse system and set up the non-tariff area for the region, he said.

It would also be a place for applying advanced technologies in agriculture, with projects to produce organic microbial fertilizers, nano fertilizers, organic plant protection products, and pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and high-value products from agricultural products, he said.

Its most important role will be to serve as a place connecting farmers and businesses so that the farmer can cultivate what the market needs.

Within this year Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will sign a decision for the city to build the center, which will start operating in 2025.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Tham said the center would be established under a special mechanism, and function as the equivalent of both an industrial park and economic zone at the same time.

"It might also operate as a public administration service center."

He added that the place would have an agricultural produce auction floor to avoid overlaps in production and trading.

Home to 17.5 million people, or 18 percent of Vietnam's population, the delta spreads over almost four million hectares.

It is the final destination of the Mekong River, which flows through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, before reaching the sea.

It is the country's biggest agricultural hub with more than 2.4 million hectares of farmlands and 700,000 hectares of aquaculture, accounting for over 17 percent of GDP, 54 percent of rice and 60 percent of fruit production, and 70 percent of fisheries products.

But despite having all the resources needed to become an economic powerhouse, the delta continues to lag behind other regions.

After over three decades of reforms, it still faces various challenges, including a lack of vision for the region, ineffective use of land and water, low labor quality and quantity, lack of use of technology, and underdeveloped infrastructure.

There is only one expressway connecting the region with the rest of the country.

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