Under the plan, which began last year, high-tech rice growing areas are located mostly in the major agricultural districts Cai Be, Cai Lay, Go Cong Tay and Go Cong Dong.
These areas grow high-quality rice varieties like Nang Hoa 9, Dai Thom 8, OM 4900, OM 5451 and ST 24.
The department has organised 200 training courses to provide advanced rice growing techniques to 6,000 farmers.
It has also established two high-tech rice growing processes that both grow rice under good agricultural practices (GAP) and use machines for cultivation.
Participating farmers are instructed to use advanced techniques known as “three reductions and three increases” and “one must and five reductions”.
The “one must and five reductions” technique uses certified seeds and reduces the number of seedlings, plant protection chemicals, nitrogenous fertilisers, irrigation, and post-harvest losses.
Farmers sow 100 kilogrammes of seeds per hectare and use certified seeds. They are also given guidance on how to sow rice under certain schedules to avoid damage from the brown plant hopper, which is the main rice pest and transmits disease.
Last year, the province spent more than 10.3 billion VND (446,000 USD) to implement the expansion project.
The money was used to buy machines and other items for agriculture co-operatives, organise rice-model demonstrations and training courses for farmers, and provide financial support for farmers to buy seeds and material inputs.
Forty percent of the cost of seeds and material inputs for farmers was paid by the project.
Last year, the province organised rice-model demonstrations on a total area of more than 40ha in the districts Cai Be, Cai Lay, Go Cong Dong and Go Cong Tay.
Rice planted under rice-model demonstrations had an average yield of 6.25 tonnes per hectare, up 200kg compared to normal fields. The production cost was 3,100 VND a kilo, down 295 VND a kilo compared to normal fields.
The profit from rice planted under rice-model demonstrations was 20 million VND (860 USD) per hectare a crop, up 4 million VND (170 USD) compared to normal fields.
Rice planted under this project is guaranteed outlets by rice companies./.