Migration of farmers viewed as opportunity for Mekong Delta
VietNamNet Bridge - Duong Van Ni, a respected expert from Can Tho University who has written many valuable studies on Mekong Delta, has caught public attention with his view that the wave of farmers migrating from the Delta is a great opportunity.


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The extreme weather changes, the sea water level rise, the new hydropower dams and the current diversion by countries on the upper course of the Mekong River to get water for irrigation all have put Vietnam’s Delta at high risk. 

Drought, saline intrusion, floods, land subsidence and riverbank erosion caused by the lack of alluvium occur regularly, upsetting people’s lives.

The challenges have caused a wave of migration from the Mekong Delta recently. In many villages and communes, there are only older people and children. This makes the region even more vulnerable in natural calamities.

The challenges have caused a wave of migration from the Mekong Delta recently. In many villages and communes, there are only older people and children. This makes the region even more vulnerable in natural calamities.

The majority of migrants are rice growers. In depression areas like Dong Thap Muoi and Long Xuyen Quadrangle, they face the floods, while in coastal provinces and the Ca Mau peninsula, they have to struggle with drought and saline intrusion.

Despite natural calamities, Vietnam doesn’t lack rice and it is still a big rice exporter in the world. The rice production capacity in Mekong Delta exceeds rice demand.

Ni, in his article on Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon, emphasized that it is necessary to recalculate the total rice demand of the whole country, to reasonably program and make appropriate investments in rice growing areas. A large land area, which is now reserved for rice cultivation to ensure food security, can be used to grow other crops which can bring higher profits.

Farmers have left the Mekong Delta for jobs which can bring more stable income while there is no need to worry about storms, floods or drought. The destinations are HCM City, Binh Duong and Can Tho.

However, the people are leaving older parents and as a result, the Mekong Delta is facing a risk of lack of strong manpower.

Ni believes that if the State cooperates with private enterprises to train migrant farmers, build houses for them and provide education and healthcare services, they may consider bringing their families with them to new land areas for resettlement.

This would also create favorable conditions for big businesses to make heavy investment to develop agricultural production in the Mekong Delta. 

In related news, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has pledged $1 billion to the Mekong Delta to fund projects aimed at tackling climate change.


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Kim Chi

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