Mekong Delta shifts strategy, takes advantage of benefits of flooding

Last update 08:16 | 24/01/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – In the past, Mekong Delta residents, striving to produce as much rice as possible, built closed embankments to prevent floods and cultivate third crops. But now they need floods to preserve water to fight drought and saline intrusion. vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, floating houses, Mekong Delta, flood

Le Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Climate Change Research Institute under Can Tho University, said it was necessary to reconsider third-crop rice cultivation.

Tuan said many years ago, ensuring food security was the priority for the Mekong Delta.
Therefore, farmers tried to cultivate three rice crops a year to increase productivity. In order to do this, they had to build embankments to prevent floods.

However, things are now different. The soil is getting exhausted, while climate change has had impact on people’s lives and agricultural production. Countries on the Mekong River’s upper course are also taking away water for electricity generation.

Instead of considering floods as a natural calamity, Mekong Delta should see them as natural resources which need to be taken advantage of to fight drought and saline intrusion.

According to Nguyen Huu Thien, an independent environment expert, in 2001-2012, the area of three-crop rice in Mekong Delta increased by seven times to 470,000 hectares. Meanwhile, a report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that the current area is 800,000 hectares.

“Recovering the function of the two ‘water bags’ in Long Xuyen Quadrangle and Dong Thap Muoi must be the right decision,” Thien said.

Prof Vo Tong Xuan, a leading rice expert, also said the soil in the Mekong Delta is getting poorer because of the policy on preventing floods for three-crop cultivation.

According to Tuan, there are many ways to approach the issue. The Mekong River Commission plays a very important role in arranging water sources for the Delta.

He said the expansion of embankment network must be stopped. It is necessary to remove dykes in the areas where rice cultivation is no longer effective.

Tuan stressed that while removing embankments to receive floods, it is necessary to create favorable conditions for farmers in flooded areas.

“Farmers can breed fish in flooding season in Tram Chim (Dong Thap) and Lang Sen (Long An),” he said.

“The coastal provinces which get benefits from the water preservation, need to share profits with the farmers in flooded areas,” he added.

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This entry was posted in Biến đổi khí hậu - Climate change, Chính sách biến đổi khí hậu - climate change policy, Mekong Delta - Đồng Bằng Sông Cửu Long and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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