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Muong Tac paddy: From low yield to biggest rice supplier of Vietnamese province

Sunday, June 23, 2019, 15:22 GMT+7
Muong Tac paddy: From low yield to biggest rice supplier of Vietnamese province
Farmers carry harvested rice grain during a harvest season at Muong Tac Paddy Field. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

Traveling to northwestern Vietnam, one cannot miss out on the paddy fields of this region, which not only showcase Vietnamese farmers’ traditional livelihood but also become a mesmerizing sight beautifying the region.

Northwestern Vietnam is home to only four even paddy fields, among which the Muong Thanh paddy field in Dien Bien Province is the biggest, followed by the Muong Lo paddy field in Yen Bai Province, the Muong Than Paddy field in Lai Chau Province, and the Muong Tac paddy field in Son La Province.

A farmer works on Muong Tac Paddy Field. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

A farmer works in the Muong Tac paddy field. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

The Muong Tac paddy field, the smallest among the four, is 1,600 hectares in area and located by the Tac stream, running across several communes including Huy Thuong, Huy Tan, Quang Huy, and Huy Bac, all the way to the Van Yen ferry station in Son La Province.

Thanks to the even ground the paddies are placed on, as well as the rich amount of groundwater, the Muong Tac paddy field enjoys the harvest season twice a year – one in the spring and the other in the summer.

“Farmers here are putting to use high-yielding rice seeds like BC15, R64, and LT2, among others, as well as the traditional rice seeds that change farming methods to increase productivity without altering the original taste,” said Pham Van Ba, vice-director of the Muong Tac co-op.

The productivity of the farmers in the region, most of whom are people from ethnic minorities, reaches around 7.5 to 8 metric tons per hectare.

Hence, in a year farmers of the Muong Tac paddy harvest from 23,000 to 25,000 metric tons of rice grains, making it the biggest paddy supplier of Son La Province in the past few years.

Farmers gather at Muong Tac paddy field during harvesting season. It is also an opportunity for them to gather and talk to each other while they work in the fields. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

Farmers gather in the Muong Tac paddy field during the harvest season. It is also an opportunity for them to gather and talk to one another while they are working in the field. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

Amidst the sun and heat in the Muong Tac paddy field, thousands of people harvest rice grains, with many farming families having to hire professional harvesters to help them do the job.

While many families invest in professional farming machines so as to make harvesting quicker and easier, some still use traditional agricultural tools manually.

For farmers here, harvesting is also time for neighbors and families to gather in the fields, so complaints and tired faces are not commonly seen as laughter is often heard all over the place.

Even though farmers in the area used to lead a difficult life, nowadays thanks to development in agriculture and new municipal functions providing counseling for them, their production and productivity have been considerably elevated so the families no longer live in poverty.

Farmers work on Muong Tac Paddy Field to collect rice grain. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

Farmers work in the Muong Tac paddy field to collect rice grains. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

Farmers work on Muong Tac Paddy Field to collect rice grain. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

Farmers work in the Muong Tac paddy field to collect rice grains. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

Farmers put rice grain in bags to bring home after a long day of harvesting at Muong Tac Paddy Field. Photo: Nguyen Huong  / Tuoi Tre

Farmers put rice grains in bags to bring home after a long day of harvesting in the Muong Tac paddy field. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

Farmers work on Muong Tac Paddy Field to collect rice grain. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

Farmers work in the Muong Tac paddy field to collect rice grains. Photo: Nguyen Huong / Tuoi Tre

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