Measures to deal with drought and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta region were discussed during a workshop in Bac Lieu province on April 14.
Orgnaised by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, the event drew experts, scientists and managers from research institutes and universities, and representatives from regional localities such as Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Hau Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh and Kien Giang.
Experts assessed solutions to adapt to drought and saltwater intrusion in this year’s dry season, while discussing the efficiency of transformative economic models that have been implemented to address the problem.
Coastal provinces in the Mekong Delta are mostly affected by salinity intrusion and climate change. Scientists said the best solution is to plant crops able to adapt to climate change.
Associate Professor, PhD. Vo Cong Thanh from Can Tho University stressed the need to pay more attention to building infrastructure.
Climate change response infrastructure projects must be effective, he said, adding that they should also not affect the environment.
Duong Thanh Trung, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Bac Lieu province, said the locality will restructure many production areas.
The province is concentrating on transforming ineffective rice production areas into the rice/shrimp rotation model, he noted, adding that nearly 40,000 ha is applying the model.
The locality will replicate this model, while stepping up the transfer of science and technology and apply effective rice growing models, he said.
The Mekong Delta, the country’s largest rice granary, comprises 12 provinces and one centrally-run city with a total area of 40,000 square kilometres and a combined population of 18 million. It has been tasked with ensuring the country’s food security.
However, it is also one of the most affected by climate change, rising-sea level and saltwater intrusion. By mid-2016, the Mekong Delta faced serious drought and saline intrusion. This year’s dry season, drought, saltwater intrusion and riverbank and coastline erosion, is also extreme.
At present, saline intrusion is infiltrating regional localities, affecting a large area of rice and vegetables.