Mekong Delta shifts strategy, takes advantage of benefits of flooding

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. 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. 

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