Climate change brings opportunity to restructure Mekong Delta economy

Created 16 October 2017
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The principle that Vietnam needs to pursue now is not to confront nature, but to respond appropriately and flexibly to new circumstances, such as climate change, by restructuring the economy.
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vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, Mekong Delta, climate change, saltwater


About inaccurate perceptions, Tuan said one of these is that the Mekong Delta needs to serve as the ‘rice granary’ and ‘rice pot’ of Vietnam and the world. 

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) affirmed that with natural conditions, growing rice is the best way for the Mekong Delta, but not the way Vietnam is following. 

The principle that Vietnam needs to pursue now is not to confront nature, but to respond appropriately and flexibly to new circumstances

Tuan also pointed out that Vietnam has the wrong view about ‘national food security’. FAO defines ‘food security’ as the capability to have food, which could be rice, maize, oats, fish, shrimp, vegetables and fruits. There is a wide range of foodstuff for people to use, not only raise.

Meanwhile, Vietnam understands ‘food’ as ‘rice’ and strives to ensure more than 10 kilos per head per month. “The household which doesn’t grow rice but produces one kilogram of shrimp a day would have better ‘food security’ than the household which produces 10 kilograms of rice. This is simply because a kilo of shrimp can be sold for VND200,000, and a kilo of rice for VND6,000,” Tuan said.

Some foreign experts commented that the Mekong Delta is blessed by nature, but it has a critical weak point which is identity, i.e. products of localities in the region are nearly the same.

In fact, the problem lies in mismanagement which can be seen throughout the country, not only in the Mekong Delta. 

“There are industrial zones (IZs) in almost every district in Mekong Delta, including in the remote and mountainous districts. There are not many investors occupying all the IZs,” he said.

Since growing rice cannot bring income high enough to cover basic needs, the farmers in Dong Thap Muoi area in Dong Thap province have sprayed salt into fields to create fields for shrimp hatchery. But the method cannot bring the desired results.

According to Tuan, there are three things that need to be done to restructure Mekong Delta amid climate change. First, checking existing policies to find problems. Second, consulting with the community. Third, collecting people’s opinions about the policies to be applied.


Source: Thanh Lich - Bridge

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