More than 58,000 hectares of rice in Mekong Delta damaged due to drought

Around 41,900 hectares of the winter-spring rice crop in provinces in the Mekong Delta were affected this year; of which, 26,000 hectares of rice ended in dead loss.

On June 20, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) cooperated with the People’s Committee of Long An Province held a conference to summarize the results of the prevention of drought, water shortage, and saltwater intrusion in the dry season of 2019-2020 in the Mekong Delta and discuss solutions to develop sustainable agriculture.

The MARD said that saltwater intrusion in the dry season of 2019-2020 had some characteristics different from the rule of many years, such as it came three months earlier than the average of many years, and nearly one month earlier compared to that in the dry season of 2015-2016 – the worst saltwater intrusion in history; saltwater intrusion lasted 2-2.5 times longer than that in the dry season of 2015-2016; the salinity levels at Cua Tieu, Cua Dai, and Ham Luong estuaries had continuously maintained at the peak from February to May, they almost did not decline or declined insignificantly at low tides which is different from normal features of salinity, increasing at high tides and decreasing at low tides.

The reason for the increase in saline intrusion was a shortage of water from the upper Mekong River. In the dry season of 2019-2020, water to the Mekong Delta was much lower than that in recent years, thereby affecting ten out of 13 provinces in the region. The area affected by the salinity of 4 grams per liter was 1.68 million hectares, much higher than a total area of 50,376 hectares in 2016.

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Huynh Loi, Dang Nguyen – Translated by Gia Bao