The project “Farming measures that improve soil quality for sustainable rice production in the Mekong Delta” (Susrice) is a Belgian-funded research cooperation program implemented in Tra On district, Vinh Long province since 2017.
The project aims to improve soil quality and rice yield by introducing crop rotation (maize, green beans) and organic fertilizers.
The Mekong Delta is a rice bowl of Vietnam but due to intensive rice production (three crops/year) and over use of fertilizers, land is degraded leading to rice yield decrease. In order to restore soil fertility, Can Tho University works closely with Ghent University (Belgium) to co-research models that focus on crop rotation instead of rice monoculture and the use of organic fertilisers.
Field trials have been conducted for nine consecutive seasons. The results of the study have shown that the rotation of rice and other crops combined with organic fertilizers increased rice yield, soil quality and efficient water use, and brought higher income for farmers. The rotation also yielded positive results in terms of reducing the greenhouse effect produced during rice cultivation. The workshop was also an opportunity to transfer research results on techniques for practical application to farmers and local extension workers.