Typically, it’s been scientists at state-owned laboratories who’ve researched and sold new rice varieties to farmers. Now it’s Quang Nam province farmers who are taking the lead. With a little help from Norway.
Over 30 farmer families in Dien Ban district (Quang Nam) have participated since 2003 in a project called “Biodiversity Use and Conservation in Asia” (BUCAP), with financial help from the Norwegian Development Fund. They have created a new rice variety of high quality, coded CT2.
The new rice variety was experimentally planted in the winter-spring 2009-2010 crop on two hectares in Dien Tho commune. According to Do Nhu Hong, a local agricultural manager, the new rice variety developed very well and is resistant to pests and and the storms that often buffet Vietnam’s central region. This rice variety yielded up to 750 kilograms of paddy per hectare, more than popular rice varieties used in the region.
A state-owned firm in Quang Nam province has bought rights to market the rice variety for 200 million dong (US$10,500).
VietNamNet observes that in Quang Nam, many state-funded rice improvement projects worth billions dong have been carried out, but none of them have been a great success.