Viet Nam

Viet Nam: Agriculture production still paralyzed after flood

Vegetables and other crops have been lost because of the flood. Farms in the suburb areas of Hanoi have become idle as poultry and animals have either been killed, or bargained away by the owners. The agriculture production remains paralyzed ten days after the flood.

The field without farmers

Rice and vegetable fields in Thanh Oai, Ung Hoa and Hoai Duc districts, which are located along the Highway No. 21, were seen 30-50 cm under water on November 9. From a distance, one would only see a vast sea, while he could not tell the difference if it was a rice field, a vegetable field, a pond, or a lake.

Van Con and Song Phuong, the vegetable granaries in Hoai Duc district, have become empty.

Showing the basket of damaged cabbage, Bui Thi Yen in Van Con commune related that in the days of heavy rain, she and her husband still had to work in the vegetable field, as she feared that the heavy rain would damage the produce. Yen decided to bring vegetables to sell in the inner city to get more money than selling right at the field. She and many other households here have to drive by bicycle under the heavy rain.

Yen said that she dared not to hire pick-ups to carry the produce, which would cost her VND 150,000. She said that she has to save up money, because she has lost much money due to the flood.

The vegetable commune of Van Noi in Dong Anh district has also been suffering from the flood. Tran Thi Hop, Deputy Chairwoman of Van Noi People's Committee, said that Van Noi has completely lost 120 ha out of 150 ha.

The local residents said that if the water goes down in one week, they will begin growing short term vegetable crops. This means that the vegetable communes will only be able to provide produce to Hanoi in 20 days.

Fish, fowls gone, leaving farmers in sorrow

Quang Dac Hop in Van Con commune in Hoai Duc district related that he previously planned to sell 500 chickens in November 2008, but he was unable to when the flood broke out. Hop said that he couldn't do anything to rescue the chickens, leaving them to die in the flood.

Bang, Van Con Commune's Party Committee Secretary, also complained that he has lost nearly all of the 500 chickens he owns in the flood. Bang said that the dead chickens were sold at VND 20,000/1.5kg.

Chuong My district, one of the most severely stricken areas with 2,500 ha inundated, has reported that 60,030 chickens and 657 pigs have been killed.

Hundreds of fowl farms (3,000-10,000 chickens a farm) in Phuong Tien, Nam Phuong Tien, and Thuy Xuan Tien, have all been flooded. These are the chickens which farmers raise for Charoen Pokph and Company. Currently, some 100,000 chickens are being raised on boats or on hills.

Son Tay City is not listed among the severely stricken areas of Hanoi. However, Tran Van Chien, Chairman of Co Dong Cooperative, said that nearly ten pig and fowl farms have been relocated. Some 100 pigs and 2,000 chickens have been killed, while others have been bargained away.

Chien said on November 9 that though the water has been going down gradually, 12 farms had been isolated. Vehicles could not carry feed to the farms as the roads remained between half a metre and one metre under water.

"I have never seen such a heavy rain in the dry season. Farms are now still struggling to repair the flood damage, while no official figure about damages has been released," Chien said.

Aquaculture proves to have suffered the most in the flood. A household breeding fish in Thanh Tri district complained that they had lost several hundreds millions VND. The north saw 27,000 ha of aquaculture complete lost with the flood, of which Hanoi has lost 9,000 ha. A lot of farmers have suffered financially from the flood, unable to collect any income.

Nguyen - Nga.