Experts call for increasing economic value of straw

11:30 | 28/01/2019 Society

Experts called for making better use of straw – an agricultural by-product abundant in Vietnam’s biggest rice cultivating area of Mekong Delta - during a seminar held in southern Can Tho city on January 23.   

Illustrative image - Source: VNA

Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Vietnam Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology (VIAEP), said the region each year yields nearly 45 million tonnes of rice, accounting for 54 percent of the whole country’s total. The total straw volume after harvest nears 22 million tonnes, 13 million tonnes of which are disposed of by burning, equivalent to 60 percent.

As straw burning pollutes the air, erodes land and wastes workforce, the VIAEP partnered with the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanisation under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific to pilot a project on straw management in Vietnam.

The project has helped farmers collect straws as cover for plants, feed for cattle, and fertiliser for flowers and vegetables. In particular, the use of straw in indoor straw mushroom cultivation has brought about positive results with high economic value in Binh Thuy and Thoi Lai districts, thus improving farmers’ income.

Anshuma Varma from the center said straw burning in regional countries has affected climate change landscape and worsened post-harvest losses. Therefore, the broader use of straw in handicraft making and mushroom growing has also reduced environment pollution.

Theo VNA