|Farmers in Long Thạnh Commune in Kiên Giang Province’s Giồng Riềng District harvest the 2023 autumn-winter rice. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Sĩ
KIÊN GIANG — Community-based agricultural extension teams in Kiên Giang Province have helped farmers adopt advanced farming techniques and models.
The province has the larger land area than any of the 12 Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces, and diverse farming models such as rice and rice-shrimp farming, animal husbandry and aquaculture.
Phan Thanh Nhã, head of the Bình An Commune community-based agricultural extension team in Kiên Lương District, said his team taught farmers many farming models and techniques for breeding animals and growing crops in 2022-23.
They include two models for breeding pearl grouper in ponds using industrial feed for the fish and three training courses in techniques for growing fruits and pepper and breeding cows for producing calves, he said.
The team has also undertaken other activities such as helping producers apply for recognition under the national “One Commune – One Product” (OCOP) programme for their products, he said.
It has assisted farmers in applying for production codes for their farming areas and provided vaccination for pigs, cattle and poultry birds, he said.
“The team has six agricultural extension staff and we closely monitor farming models to help farmers implement them well,” he said.
“One of the most important tasks is regularly monitoring crop and animal diseases and market prices of agricultural products to promptly inform farmers and co-operatives.”
The province has established 116 community-based agricultural extension teams with 700 workers since early 2022, according to its Agriculture Extension Centre.
Nguyễn Văn Hiển, deputy director of the centre, said the teams closely monitor their locality and farming models to promptly help farmers resolve problems.
They also report effective farming models to the centre and local authorities to foster their development, he said.
Kiên Giang is the country’s largest rice producing province with around 4.4 million tonnes of paddy a year.
Hưng Long Co-operative in An Biên District’s Hưng Yên Commune grows organic rice under an effective model.
Huỳnh Phi Long, its director, said over two crops the model has proven that it is more effective and sustainable than traditional farming methods.
It helps improve soil and water quality, reduce environmental pollution and adapt to climate change, he said.
The production costs under the model are half that of the traditional method, and so farmers earn an additional VNĐ10 million (US$410) profit per hectare, he said.
“The co-operative was provided with ST 24 rice seeds, organic fertilisers and bio-chemicals, and taught techniques by the local agricultural extension team.
“Thanks to the support, the last two rice crops had high yields.”
The centre innovated 52 agriculture extension models for farming rice, shrimp-rice, fish-rice, shrimp-crab, vegetables, fruits, animals, and aquatic species last year. — VNS
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