Vietnam’s Mekong Delta hit hard by severe drought

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Hanoi, March 15 (IANS) The serious drought in Vietnam has damaged 160,000 hectares of paddy rice in Mekong delta, causing a loss of around 5,000 billion Vietnamese dong ($222 million) and affecting about 290,000 hectares of fruit trees, the media reported on Tuesday.

Some 1,225 hectares of orchards in the province of Ben Tre have been damaged by the severe drought, and its impact will last long, Xinhua news agency quoted an official as saying.

Farmers complained that numerous coconut and cacao trees have failed to bear fruits due to the drought and if the dry conditions prolong, they will have to chop down the trees.

Parts of the delta have been experiencing the most serious drought and saltwater encroachment for past 100 years.

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The delta needs some $4 billion to effectively deal with the drought and saltwater encroachment, according to the ministry of agriculture and rural development.

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