11:38 | 11/05/2016 Science - Technology
(VEN) - Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong talked with Filipino Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Fredelita Guiza on experiences in water savings through hydraulic system management.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong (middle) at the meeting
According to Guiza, the Philippines are geographically smaller than Vietnam but have a larger population. So, ensuring food security is a major task for the government. The country has 10 million hectares of arable land, including three million in need of irrigation while the national and local hydraulic systems can only cover for 1.73 million hectares. The systems were built by the national hydraulic management authority.
The Philippines are drafting a national hydraulic management master plan for the next decade and therefore in need of initiatives to increase irrigation efficiency. The draft is scheduled to be completed by June and submitted to the government for approval. The panel responsible for the draft is eager to learn from irrigation planning and management experiences from regional countries, including Vietnam.
Vietnam has decentralized irrigation management and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development only manages three inter-provincial irrigation works and all third or higher level dyke systems. The country has nearly 7,000 reservoirs, 235,000km of irrigation ditches and 2,500km of third or higher dykes, so participation of local authorities, people and communities in irrigation management activities is indispensible, said Deputy Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s General Irrigation Department Tran Quang Hoai at the meeting.
According to Nguyen Xuan Cuong, water is one of precious natural resources for socioeconomic development. So, water management and use should be continually improved in terms of efficiency and should be decentralized.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said, “Vietnam is adjusting irrigation fees considering that water is a precious natural resource. Policies on water use by rice farmers will be revised. Water demands will be regulated by a market mechanism for efficiency.”