Delta farmers switch to drought-resistant crops

Many farmers in the Mekong Delta provinces have switched from growing rice to drought-resistant crops to cope with the region’s worst drought in 100 years. In Ca Mau province, instead of three rice crops, farmers grow two and one crop of green beans, which require less water. In Khanh Binh Tay and Khanh Hung communes in Tran Van Thoi district, farmers grew more than 1,100 hectares of green beans. Many of them planted the beans in dry paddy fields, with productivity at 2.5 to three tons per hectare. Traders buy green beans for price of VND 30,000 (USD 1.3) per kg. Photo for illustration Nguyen Van Tranh, deputy director of Ca Mau province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that farmers were warned of droughts early so they have already shifted to green beans. Raising shrimps in paddy fields is another way to use cultivation areas. According to Vo Thanh Ngoan, head of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Thap Muoi District in Dong … [Read more...]

Vietnam charges 45 customs officers, business owners for tax fraud

Vietnam's top office of prosecutors has filed criminal charges against 34 customs officers, 11 business owners and seven others for faking documents to claim VND42 billion (US$1.85 million) in tax refunds in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang. The officers, who were with the customs agency at Khanh Binh border gate with Cambodia, allegedly received VND1.7 billion ($75,200) from the businesses, according to an indictment issued by the Supreme People's Procuracy on Friday. In return, they verified exports documents that had been falsified so the businesses could claim the tax refunds between May 2011 and March 2013, prosecutors said. Nguyen Thanh Tri and Nguyen Van Bien, who ran the agency between 2008 and 2013, were accused of pocketing 35.7 percent of the money. All the officers, who were dismissed after the case was busted, face charges of "power abuse," which are punishable by a maximum jail term of 15 years. The business owners are charged with "fraud" and can be sentenced … [Read more...]

Each year, Ca Mau sinks by 1.71 cm

VietNamNet Bridge - Ca Mau peninsula is continuing to sink, according to research by the Southern Region Geological Mapping Federation under the General Department of Geology and Minerals of Vietnam. Subsidence in Khanh Binh Commune, Tran Van Thoi District on April 15. Dr. Do Van Linh, Deputy Head of the Southern Region Geological Mapping Federation, said the deepest subsidence in Ca Mau was measured 1.71 cm a year, while the average subsidence due to groundwater exploitation was about 0.35 cm a year. There are three reasons for this situation: subsidence due to young sediment and water exploitation, and by tectonic movements. This trend will continue in the coming years. Previously, studies of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) showed that Ca Mau is sharply subsiding. The subsidence speed measured was higher than the studies of the Southern Region Geological Mapping Federation. According to NGI, Ca Mau may suffer from serious subsidence on the surface, as the result of … [Read more...]

Head of customs department in southern Vietnamese province removed for managerial oversight

A senior customs officer in southern Vietnam has been dismissed for negligence that led to serious rule violations. The General Department of Vietnam Customs has issued an administrative warning and removed Huynh Thanh Tam, head of the customs department of An Giang Province, from his position for his oversight in office that resulted in wrongdoings regarding value-added tax (VAT) refunding. During the time Tam took office, over 40 officials and public servants working at the customs department were investigated and arrested for their misconduct. As a case in point, many customs officers in An Giang were found abetting several businesses to cheat and appropriate hundreds of billions of dong (VND100 billion = US$4.48 million) from the national budget. They have been probed by the Ministry of Public Security and the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Police. Police reports showed that Le Dung, director of a company based in Ho Chi Minh City, colluded with customs officers at … [Read more...]

Provinces in Mekong Delta endure misery due to drought, saline encroachment

The ongoing severe drought and saltwater intrusion will continue affect badly to livelihood and daily life activities of farmers of provinces in the Mekong Delta this year. Farmers in Kien Giang Province are in misery because of drought and saline intrusion. (Photo: SGGP) According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Mekong Delta, the country's largest supplier of rice, fruit and fisheries, is facing the worst drought and saltwater intrusion in 90 years which has sent tens of thousands of local households into misery. However, by now it is not yet the peak of the dry season. Among the provinces in the Mekong Delta, Kien Giang Province possesses the largest area of rice has been deceased by drought and saltwater intrusion. Local farmers are rushing for taking measures to tackle with drought and saltwater intrusion. Mrs. Huynh Thi Kip, a farmer in Binh Giang Commune in Hon Dat District, said that her family has been living here for nearly 30 years but she has … [Read more...]

Shaping unique lighting products

Minh An Nguyen Dinh Hoai Thuc tries to make a lighting product from a bulb, the chain of a bicycle and other items Established by two youths Nguyen Dinh Hoai Thuc and Nguyen Khanh Binh An in 2014, the workshop has quickly earned reputation for its special lighting products which were made from recycled materials and consume less electricity than normal bulbs. By creating such energy-saving products, Thuc and An want to raise their customers’ awareness of environmental protection. Thuc and An decorate their products with creative images and drawings to make them eye-catching and aesthetic. So far, they have created around 30 models of lighting products which have been used at cafés, restaurants and private residences in HCMC. Nobi Lighting workshop is located at 425/16 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, District 3, HCMC. Lighting products of Nobi Lighting cost from VND150,000 (US$6.6) to VND1.5 million Thuc uses small pieces of wood to create a stand for a … [Read more...]

Art, Entertainment News In Brief

Children’s painting exhibition of climate change opens in Hanoi, Thai culture introduced in Vietnam, Exhibition on renovation held in Hanoi, Lai Chau province to host ethnic minority sports festival... Children’s painting exhibition of climate change opens in Hanoi A children’s painting exhibition featuring 100 pictures opened at the French cultural center in Hanoi. The exhibits are selected from 3,000 paintings of students from 6th grade-12th grade of Nguyen Tat Thanh High School. The painting contest themed "The earth in my hand" aims to arouse students’ passion for painting and raise awareness about impacts of climate change on people's lives. 10 golden prizes, 10 silver prizes, 10 bronze prizes and three Grand prizes have been awarded in the contest. The display runs until November 15. Thai expatriates in Hanoi and locals on October 27 enjoyed one of the biggest traditional Thai festivals in the capital city. The Loi Krathong event was organised by … [Read more...]

Downpours play havoc with Nghe An, Ca Mau, Kien Giang provinces

Torrential rains have ravaged the Nghe An central province and the southern provinces of Ca Mau and Kien Giang over the past few days. In Nghe An, flood caused by heavy rains swept away one first grader from the Tien Phong 2 primary school in Que Phong district and made one house collapse, according to the provincial steering board for natural disaster prevention, search and rescue. Days of rain also triggered landslides at some places along Roads No. 543 and 545 in Ky Son and Que Phong districts with hundreds of cubic metres of rock and soil masses. Roads No. 542 and 531 were also deluged, hampering local residents’ travel. Meanwhile, the inundation hit 74.5 hectares of rice, 214 hectares of maize, 162 hectares of other crops and 24.3 hectares of fish farming ponds. Eight irrigation facilities in Tuong Duong, Quy Hop, Nghia Dan and Yen Thanh districts along with five bridges were also damaged. In Ca Mau province, torrential rains left nearly 20,000 hectares of rice deep … [Read more...]

Mekong Delta snake markets during monsoon season

Farmers in several villages in the Mekong Delta region are busy catching snakes and wild animals for sale at local markets. Snakes for sale at Vinh Hoi Dong market In the last month villagers in several districts in An Giang and Dong Thap Provinces as well as in communes along the Tien and Hau Rivers are busily earning a living by catching snakes, crabs, eels and frogs from their flooded fields. People in An Giang have used the captured wildlife as ingredients in special local dishes. Khanh Binh snake market, An Giang Province Khanh An snake market Vo Minh Tam, a veteran trader at Vinh Hoi Dong market in An Giang Province, said he buys from 20 to 30 kilos of snakes a day for between VND50,000 (USD2.19) and VND100,000 (USD4.43) per kilo. He easily sells this amount on a daily basis thanks to his cheap prices. Floods mean a good snake harvest Weighing snakes at Cay Mit market Other markets like Khanh An and Khanh Binh in An Phu District of An Giang Province, and An Phu and … [Read more...]

Health insurance to include holidays

HA NOI (VNS) — If patients using health insurance cards have health examinations and treatment on weekends and holidays, their hospital fees will be paid through their health insurance. This was one of the new regulations in Circular 16 enacted by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance. The circular will be put into effect at the beginning of September. Luu Thanh Huyen, deputy director of the HCM City Social Insurance, said a number of people in HCM City had requested having health examinations and treatment outside regular working hours. They were often patients suffering from chronic diseases that needed long-term treatment, she said. Le Hoang Quy, deputy director of the Binh Thanh District Hospital, said that the hospital received about 2,400 patients coming for health checks per day, with 90 per cent of them having health insurance cards. To meet the needs of the patients, the hospital will lengthen the time for examinations, which were from 6am to 6pm Monday to … [Read more...]

People brace for rainy season, floods

Oficials of Ca Mau Province are checking the dyke reinforcement work. — Photo CA MAU (VNS) — People in Tan Phu and U Minh districts of Ca Mau have been actively taking part in reinforcing sea dykes to prepare for the coming rainy season. The 100km-long sea dyke in Khanh Binh Tay, Khanh Hai and Khanh Tien communes of the two districts has been severely damaged by sea waves, the local authority said. Head of Ca Mau Province's irrigation department Nguyen Long Hoai said the dyke suffered damage and landslides regularly in the rainy season and stormy weather, causing environment pollution, saline intrusion and difficulties in transport and production. The landslides affected the lives and production work of thousands of households. This year, there were 30 cases of landslides in rivers and sea dykes in the province, causing losses of VND10 billion (US$480,000). At present, simple measures such as use of sandbags against intrusion of seawater are being … [Read more...]

Destinations cannot be ignored in Can Tho city

Can Tho city is situated in the central area of the Mekong River Delta, contributing to the city becoming an ideal destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. Can Tho city tourism is premier ecological tourism with stretching fruit gardens, spacious fields, thick river system and a south-imbued culture. Presently, as a result of well developed infrastructure, travelling to the city has become very convenient while a diverse range of hotels of many standards and an increasing number of restaurants have met the ever increasing demands of the tourism sector. Cai Rang floating market has a strong attraction for tourists. The trading activities take place between 5 and 8a.m. All the activities are carried out on the river. Tourists see farmers at work in the My Khanh tourist site. Images imbued with southern culture in ecological tourist sites. Stork gardens are also ideal destinations for tourists. Binh Thuy ancient house is known as the … [Read more...]

Good job, but not a job well done

by Chi Lan The scenes were hectic and familiar, but there were some important differences. This year marked the first time that the university entrance exam and the high school graduation exam were combined. It was also the first time in 40 years that the mercury topped 40 degrees Celsius in the capital city. These conditions made the work done by student volunteers during the four days of entrance exams all the more remarkable. The eagerness, enthusiasm and sincerity with which they helped high school students chase their dreams of a university education was very much in evidence. The deep blue shirts of volunteers were seen all over the place – at school gates, bus and train stations, houses renting rooms for students, cheap eateries. With unfailing politeness and patience, they helped the students as well as their parents, many of whom were setting foot in Ha Noi for the first time. They showed the visitors where the exams would be held, helped them find accommodation, and … [Read more...]

Promoting innovation in the development of sustainable tourism

Local residents in Duong Lam village use straw to design souvenirs. NDO - Rain, winds, storms, floods, and even garbage are things that seem like troubles for human. However, in a number of projects initiated by architect Nguyen Thu Hanh, PhD., Chairwoman of the Scientific Union for Sustainable Tourism Development (STDe) and her partners, disadvantages are turned into advantages in order to develop tourism in a sustainable manner in Vietnam. Changing thinking in exploiting natural resources Vietnam has significant potential to develop tourism, especially maritime tourism thanks to its long coastline. With more than 3,000km of coastline – including hundreds of islands and beautiful beaches – Vietnam should be one of Asia’s top tourism destinations. However, compared to other countries in the region, sea and island tourism in Vietnam is underdeveloped as only a small part of sea and island resources are being utilised. In addition, tourism services in Vietnam … [Read more...]

Northern and central regions face heat wave

Temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius will affect the northern and central regions until June 6 according to the National Meteorology and Hydrology Centre’s forecast. The heat wave poses a high risk of forest fire for a number of provinces, including Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Binh Dinh and Long An. On May 28, a fire started in the protection forest in Trieu Loc, Chau Loc and Hoang Khanh communes in northern Thanh Hoa province, the second within two days. Almost 2,000 people were mobilised to extinguish the fire, Nhan Dan newspaper reported. In northern Tuyen Quang province, low water levels in local reservoirs have led to 128 hectares of spring paddy fields drying out. Meanwhile, Da Lat city in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is suffering from heavy rains and high humidity, which have fuelled the spread of crop diseases.-VNA … [Read more...]

Men burn forest gathering honey

Police in southern Ca Mau Province have arrested two local men for allegedly burning 10ha of Lower U Minh forest while gathering honey. Several areas in Vietnam at high risk of fire in dry season Vo Hoang Ni, 26, and Pham Quoc Tinh, 41, from Nguyen Phich Commune in U Minh District, were hired on May 14 to chop down cajeput at a plantation in the forest in Khanh Binh Tay Commune in Tran Van Thoi District. When they arrived in the forest they saw bees and decided to gather their honey. They started a fire to chase away the bees, but the flames spread quickly. After being arrested, Ni and Tinh allegedly said they tried to put out the fire themselves, but ran away after it got out of control. Local police continue to investigate into the case. … [Read more...]

Fire claims 12 ha of forest in Ca Mau

A fire stemming from prolonged intense heat engulfed 12 hectares of the U Minh Ha forest in the southernmost province of Ca Mau at 12 am on May 14. The nine-year-old cajuput forest is located in Khanh Binh Tay commune, Tran Van Thoi district. This is the first fire in the province in the 2015 dry season. The case is under further investigation. According to the the Forest Management Department, 19,000 of nearly 38,500 hectares of cajuput forest are facing extremely high fire risks as prolonged dry weather diminishes the supply of water available for fire fighters to extinguish blazes. To cope with the situation, the provincial People’s Committee has requested the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development cooperate with authorised bodies and local governments to encourage local households to protect forests and prevent fire during the drought. Ca Mau has also implemented a number of precautionary programmes, including around-the-clock patrols, fire drills and … [Read more...]

Chau Doc recognised as a class two city under An Giang province

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Phan Van Sau (R) presents the prime minister’s decision recognising Chau Doc as a class two city. (Credit: NDO – An Giang province held a ceremony on April 25 to mark the 40th anniversary of southern liberation and national reunification as well as to announce the prime minister’s decision recognising Chau Doc as a class two city under An Giang. Beginning as a small town, Chau Doc was acknowledged by the Construction Ministry as a class three city in 2007 before being approved as a city under An Giang province on July 19, 2013 by the prime minister. After nearly two years since the upgrade, Chau Doc city has contributed to making An Giang the first Mekong Delta province to have two class two cities, including Chau Doc and Long Xuyen. Chau Doc has a population of 158,000 and an urbanisation rate of over 92%. The city recorded an average income of more than VND60.3 million per capita in 2014 and total … [Read more...]

Hustle and bustle of fish markets

(VOV) - The border gate in An Giang province has been lively, boisterous, colourful, smelly and gritty with an electric atmosphere during the early months of the year, full of Cambodian traders travelling to Vietnam to buy fish, shrimp and prawns. At the crossing there is a lot of talk that Cambodia once a powerhouse in the Southeast Asian region for fish exports has transformed into just the reverse, a lucrative export market for the Vietnamese aquaculture industry. Cambodia has been transitioning into a large prosperous fish market for Vietnamese farmers said Lam The Gioi Customs Department head at the Tinh Bien border gate. Since the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, exports of seafood have been on the uptick with hundreds of tonnes of seafood having made its way into Cambodia via the border crossing. The selection has been quite varied including snake head catfish, white carp, common carp, grass carp, bighead carp, Spanish mackerel, short body mackerel, salmon, prawn, shrimp, crab, … [Read more...]