Agricultural production threatened by El Nino

by P.V27 October 2015 Last updated at 10:34 AM

Agricultural production has been threatened by El Nino
Agricultural production has been threatened by El Nino

VTV.vn - The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting has claimed in a special report for the winter-spring season for 2015-2016.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting has claimed in a special report for the winter-spring season for 2015-2016 that the severity of the El Nino weather phenomenon this year is likely to reach the record levels recorded in 1997-1998 and the effects could last into the end of spring next year. Due to El Nino, the central region, Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta will suffer the biggest impact to agricultural production. The most obvious impact of the effect being felt through the 1.5 million hectares of the winter-spring rice crop in the Mekong Delta which could fail.

Rice farmers in the Mekong Delta are facing huge difficulties preparing the land for the winter-spring crop. As part of the El Nino phenomenon, paddy fields here are suffering from severe water shortages in the flood season and increased pests which have not been washed away. Meanwhile, a 30% increase in production costs has added more to farmer concerns.

"Due to the water shortage, rice seedlings won’t grow well. We’ll likely suffer losses", said Nguyen Van Duong, a farmer living in Nhon Nghia A Commune, Chau Thanh A District, Hau Giang Province.

Experts said that this year’s El Nino will be much more extreme than usual. River flows will decreased by 30-50%. The monsoon season in the Mekong Delta will be shorter and end earlier than usual. The water level of the Mekong River has reached the lowest since 1926. This has increased the risks of drought and salinisation. This is a big challenge for the coming winter-spring crop.

"We should develop a system of water reservoirs and improve the current system of rivers and canals in the Mekong Delta so that we will have enough water for the dry season. This way, we can have enough water for production and present desalinisation", said Ky Quang Vinh Chief of Climate Change Co-ordination Office, Can Tho City.

The Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development has recently required local authorities to estimate the impact of drought and salinisation and set up prevention plans for prevention.

"We have to keep an eye on the salinisation levels to instruct farmers in using water for production, adjusting the time of crops and determining what kind of crops to be planted. For regions where the drought is severe, we may have to stop production to avoid losses", said Nguyen Van Tinh, Deputy Director, Directorate of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development.

In this year’s dry season, the central province of Ninh Thuận issued an extreme drought warning. Although it is now rainy season, the worst drought in 60 years is predicted. Adjusting crops and making plans for water usage are now urgent tasks of both farmers and the authorities. 


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