VietNamNet Bridge – Cultivation is believed to incur heavy damages from the climate change. The total cultivation output may decrease by 1-5 percent per annum, while the main crop yields, including rice, may decrease by 10 percent.
It is estimated that 90 percent of Vietnamese population would suffer from the climate change. However, the most worrying problem for Vietnam, an agriculture economy, is that the climate change would badly affect the rice cultivation.
The Mekong River Delta, the main rice granary of Vietnam, is at risk of losing 7.6 million tons per annum, or 40 percent of the total rice output of the region, according to the latest report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
Vietnam is one of the countries which bear regular and heavy influences of natural calamities such as storms, floods, drought and desertification, riverbanks landslide and salinization.
The sea water level rise would make 2.4 million hectares of land suffer from the salinity intrusion, of which the large 2-crop-a-year rice field areas would become unproductive.
Especially, the climate changes have made the floods and pest outbreaks in a large scale in recent years.
Vietnam has been warned that the natural disasters would increase in the future in both the scope and the frequency which would bring unpredictable consequences.
Natural calamities have caused considerable damages over the last 15 years, causing the death toll of 11,000 and the asset damages worth 1.5 percent of GDP per annum.
According to Pham Dong Quang, Head of the Cultivation Department under MARD, the droughts in 2010 and the droughts in 2013 in coastal provinces of the south of the central region and Central Highlands has caused the serious water shortage in some localities. This has made 16,000 hectares of rice fields unproductive.
Quang also cited the typhoon in late 2012 which occurred in the northern provinces, which damaged tens of hectares of vegetables, to show the serious consequences of the climate change.
Also according to Quang, the salinity of over 4 %o has encroached on the mainland by 30-40 kilometers in many areas in Mekong Delta and the Red River delta as well. The 4%o salinity now occurs with 1.3 million hectares, while it is forecast to increase to 1.4 million hectares in the future, which go in accordance with the sea water rise level of 0.69 meters. When the sea water rises by 1 meter in Mekong Delta, the area to be suffered from the salinity would be 1.6 million hectares.
Vietnam has spent big money on the national program to get adapted to the climate change. The government in 2006 kicked off the program on upgrading the sea and river embankment systems. By the end of 2012, Vietnam had poured VND3 trillion into the river embankment upgrading program, and VND6 trillion to upgrade sea embankments.
Vietnam has been warned that if it cannot solve the problems properly, it would have to pay a heavy price, as the climate change may threaten the national food security.
MARD has said that it is considering the possible measures in order to ensure 3.8 million hectares of land for rice cultivation.