Chinese grow strange rice varieties on Vietnamese land

VietNamNet Bridge – Everyday, the Chinese man comes to the paddy field in the Hoa Phu commune of Chau Thanh district in Long An province, where he takes care of strange paddies.

Vietnam, rice variety, Chinese businessmen, environment, agriculture

The stranger who grows strange rice varieties

Local farmers in Hoa Phu commune have been seeing a Chinese man working on the rice field in the hamlet 1 of the commune for the last two months.

The man can speak some Vietnamese words, named Quang, usually goes together with an interpreter named Lji Wen. Quang has been growing rice on the land plot leased from the local authorities under the name of a Vietnamese man – Tran Minh Nhu.

Nguyen Van Ben, 72, a farmer in hamlet 1, said he has leased one hectare of land to Lji Wen at VND30 million for every crop. “With the leasing fee, we don’t have to work on rice fields, but we still can earn big money which was more than enough for us to celebrate Tet,” Ben said.

Nguyen Thi That, a neighbor of Ben, also said she leases 0.4 hectares of land to Lji Wen for rice cultivation.

Under the land leasing contract, Tran Minh Nhu acts as the representative of Lji Wen to lease land from the households from December 16, 2012 to April 16, 2013.

A hired worker said that Wen told him to sow 56 kilos of rice seeds for every hectare of land. Meanwhile, local farmers now sow 120 kilos for every hectare.

Hai Tung, a hired farmer said he spreads fertilizer and sprays pesticide once every two weeks. Tung said that Wen is very generous and he always pays as twice as the wages local farmers expect.

Hired farmers here call Nhu the “technique officer” and do the things instructed by Nhu. The man introduces himself as a technique officer of a rice variety center, but he refused to give the name of the center and the address.

Meanwhile, in the contract signed between Nhu and farmers, Nhu showed an address which has been found as the home of a Vietnamese man named Pham Van Mao, who lives in hamlet No 5, Binh Xuan commune, Go Cong town of Tien Giang province.

Strict control over strange paddies needed

The fact that Chinese lease land at high fees to grow strange rice varieties is considered quite “abnormal,” which has made local farmers curious. Meanwhile, the local authorities have decided that it’s necessary to clarify the purpose of the move.

A local farmer said that local people can make a profit of VND15 million per hectare at maximum when they have bountiful crop. Meanwhile, Wen pays up to VND30 million for every hectare.

“At first, I was told to be cautious when make transactions with Chinese. However, I now feel more secure in doing business with them, because Wen always pays money in advance,” Ben said.

According to Truong Quoc Anh, who introduced himself as an officer of the Southern Agriculture Institute, an arm of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Wen is a PhD from the Sichuan University, who succeeded in the projects on developing new rice varieties in the north. Since it is cold in the north, the doctor decided to run a program on making a new variety in the south.

Le Minh Duc, Director of the Long An provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said he ordered to examine the rice cultivation by the Chinese man right after hearing the news.

“Anyone must ask for the permission from the local authorities for growing any rice variety,” he said.

Thu Anh

Vietnam, rice variety, Chinese businessmen, environment, agriculture
 
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