HO CHI MINH CITY, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's Mekong Delta, including 12 southern provinces and Can Tho city, are increasingly switching to smart rice farming to improve yields, cut costs and protect the environment, local media reported on Tuesday.
They use fewer seeds, pesticides and fertilizers compared to traditional farming methods without losing out on yield or quality, while utilizing advanced technologies like smart rice seeding and transplanting machines and other smart devices, daily newspaper Vietnam News reported.
In Dong Thap and Tra Vinh provinces, farmers have used smart rice farming to good effect. Their use of urea has declined by around 40 percent and the cost of labor for fertilizing their fields has fallen by 75 percent.
Fertilizer deep placement has helped reduce greenhouse gases by 40 percent when used with alternate wetting and drying irrigation.
Smart farming reduces the amount of water required for irrigation by 30 percent and the labor cost and seed requirement by 50 percent.
It also reduces saltwater intrusion into rice fields as farmers can actively regulate freshwater through smart devices that monitor the quality of water.
The profit from this model is 20 percent higher than from traditional methods, according to farmers.
The delta, Vietnam's rice granary, has nearly 1.7 million hectares of rice fields, with 300,000-400,000 hectares affected by saltwater intrusion through rivers in the dry season.
Vietnam exported nearly 2.8 million tons of rice worth roughly 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in the first five months of this year, posting respective year-on-year decreases of 5.3 percent and 20 percent, according to its General Statistics Office.