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12/06/2024 - 17:23

Focus on restoring orchards after drought and saltwater intrusion

Prolonged drought and saltwater intrusion in the 2023-2024 dry season have greatly affected the orchards in Long An province. Many areas have been depleted by withered leaves. Therefore, when it finally rains, farmers urgently treat and care for the orchards to recover soon.

Farmers use lime to help plants withstand alum

Cutting grass in the garden, flushing alum in ditches, spreading lime, applying organic fertilizer to stimulate rooting, spraying disease prevention chemicals, etc are the measures adopted by Mr. Nguyen Minh Truong (Thanh Hoa commune, Ben Luc district) after his 1 hectare lemon orchard received the first rains of the season. Thanks to active care, the slightly affected lemon trees have sprouted and turned green again. However, in the orchard there are several dozen lemon trees that are about 4-5 years old, with limited resistance, are very depleted, and have poor recovery ability, so they need to be destroyed and replanted.

Mr. Truong shared: "The estimated cost of restoring the orchard, processing the new batch of and nurturing the old batch of lime is up to 50 million VND instead of 30 million VND like every year. Although it costs nearly twice as much, the yield of the lemon garden is only 20-30% compared to the season before the drought and salinity.

Mr. Nguyen Minh Tam (Thanh Hoa commune, Ben Luc district) said: "Because my lemon orchard being only 2 years old, its resistance is still high, plus timely care and attention, it was not seriously affected. Currently, my family's 120 lemon trees have regained vitality and are growing well."

According to the Ben Luc District Agricultural Service Center, at this time, the lemons left on the tree during the last dry season have grown again and are preparing for harvest. However, productivity and quality decrease by about 20-40%. Lemon prices are also at a low level, causing farmers many difficulties.

Farmers in Ben Luc district focus on taking care of lemon orchards to quickly recover from drought and saltwater intrusion

The entire district has nearly 1,500 hectares of lemons whose productivity is likely to decrease due to the effects of drought and salinity. In addition to people's initiative, specialized agencies also promote propaganda to households about techniques for caring for gardens after drought and saltwater intrusion to minimize damage.

Deputy Director of Ben Luc District Agricultural Service Center - Nguyen Van Co recommends: "When heavy rain occurs, farmers should not store water in ditches, as alum in the soil will most likely be released to mix with water in garden ditches. At the same time, in areas where people previously used low-salinity water for irrigation, the amount of salt still lies on the topsoil, so when it rains, that amount of salt will follow the rainwater to flow into canals, ditches, and agricultural fields. Farmers need to proactively drain this water; apply lime and organic fertilizer to both provide nutrients and improve the soil."

After a long period of being adversely affected by drought and saltwater intrusion, farmers are now starting to restore orchards. Along with hope for a new crop, they still have worries about climate change and market fluctuations. In order for farmers to feel secure in production and better adapt to the next drought and saltwater seasons, local governments and functional agencies need to have fundamental, long-term solutions, suitable to the conditions of each region and each locality./.

By Minh Tue - Translated by Q. Thien