How is the rice paddy cultivated in Vietnam

How is the rice paddy cultivated in Vietnam

Rice is an essential dish in any Vietnamese daily meals.As one of the largest rice exporters in the world, Vietnam is a farming country with countless paddy fields from north to south of the country. This acticle will share you in details about Rice Cultivation in Vietnam, the main deltas for rice production, steps to cultivate the rice as well as important factors for bumper crops.........

Vietnam - the nation of wet rice cultivation & the biggest rice exporter in the world

As a communist country, recently undergone the severe warfares, Vietnam reunited the nation in 1975, healed her wounds of the war and reconstructed the state.In 1986, she strongly applied Reform (Đổi Mới) policy in economy.In agriculture, in stead of being forced to work in the state's cooperative farms as before, farmers was distributed their own peace of land and self-decided their cultivation : trees to plant, time to work, animals to raise ....In industry,there were many economic sectors in Vietnam ( state economic sector, foreign invested economy, private economy....with state economy playing a key role).Private business sector was the first time given chances to open & operate following Vietnamese Interprise Laws.Doi Moi Reform Policy has brought a new source of life & motivation among Vietnamese, they really have their own chances to apply their ability & skills into developing their private enterprises.

HCM City- VN

Ho Chi Minh city - Vietnam

Despite these structural changes, Vietnam remains an agricultural economy in terms of employment, around 72 percent of Vietnam's labor force (approximately 28 million individuals) is engaged in agriculture.

Before the 1980s, as a poor country, Vietnam had to recieve a lot of food aids from Russia & China, but till the 1990s, she could not only feed up her whole population but also export a big quantity of rice to the world, and nowadays, Vietnam is the second biggest rice exportation in the world and stands after Thai Lan. What an amazing result Vietnam did achieve after strongly applying her Renovation Policy !

Where is the rice cultivated in Vietnam?

Vietnam is a long nation with diversified topography : 3/4 of her land is mountainous, the rest is endless coastal lines & two fertile flat deltas of Red River Delta in the north fed by Red River & Mekong River Delta in the south formed by mighty Mekong River. The map of Vietnam is likened as a lady with a pole on her shoulder carrying two rice baskets on the pole's two ends, equivalent to those two famous deltas in Vietnam.

That analogy means to us that most of rice are cultivated in Red River Delta & Mekong River Delta. With the area of 15,000 sq km & two crops in a year, Red River Delta can produce enough rice to feed up the whole population of Vietnam (96 millions).Meanwhile Mekong River Delta is 3 times bigger (50,000 sq km) than Red River Delta & also more fertile soils with 3 rice crops in a year, most of rice in this delta is for Vietnam rice exportation.

Rice fields in Ninh Binh

Pristine rice fields in Tam Coc - Ninh Binh

In addition, the rice is also planted on rice terraces by local ethnic groups in Northern Vietnam Mountain regions.The climate here is dry with long & cold winter, rice cultivation depends almost on rain water from the mountains in rainny season ( from May to October) with only one crop in a year, the gains are only enough to self-supply the locals' daily life.

Travelling to Vietnam, if you love to experience the real farming activities of farmers (ploughing with buffalo, growing rice, planting rice, harvesting rice....) or captivate the amazing beauty of rice terraces in Mu Cang Chai or Sapa or Hoang Su Phi, you should arrange your time well right on time of rice crops and contact a Vietnam Travel Agent for those extraodinary experiences.

Read more about  : " Top 9 places of awesome rice fields to visit in Vietnam"

Rice terraces in Mu Cang Chai

Rice terraces in Mu Cang Chai - VN

Steps to cultivate the rice in Vietnam

1.Seed selection & baby rice growing.

Good seed is an important factor to make sure a bumper harvest. With good seed selection, the rice can develop well & resist itself to certain diseases.

Basing on farming experiences & lunar calendar, farmers know when it is the right time to start a new crop.The seed will be soaked into the water for a few hours, then taken up for sprouting, which will be sown in a soft mud site.In 7-10 days, the seedlings are 10 cm long - the right time to pluck them up to plant in the fields.

These seedlings will be separated into each small group of 3-4 baby rice plants and cultivated on equal lines & spaces between for their coming development as well as good exposal of sunlight.

Ma baby rice tree

Baby rice tree before planting in the fields

2.The field preparation before planting the rice :

  • Let the soil rest for a while after the crop and wait for the right time of the weather.
  • Plough the fields with buffalo or machine ( machine is more popular in the lowland delta, buffalo & cows are still common used in the highlands)
  • Flood the fields with water pumping thru irrigation systems.
  • Harrow the farm to make the soil soft, together mix it with manure - ready fields to get the rice planted after growing in the first-staged site ( soft mud site)

Rice planting in Vietnam

Rice planting in the fields

3.Take care of rice after the rice is planted into the fields

  • Constantly take the weeds off the rice fields, cut the grass on the fields' banks giving the rice space & nutrients to grow well.
  • While rice is cultivated, make sure the availability of certain water levels till harvesting time.If no water on the fields, the rice wil wither and die.
  • Check the rice fields regularly to make sure that the rice develops normally. If the rice is destroyed by pests or mice, the solutions such as pesticide or mice traps .... must be done as soon as possible....
  • Harvest the crop when the rice is ripened goldenly - the results after 3 - 4 month rice cultivation depending on the seasons.
  • Thresh the grains from the paddy.
  • Dry the grains for a few suns - ready for the storage.
  • In need of rice for sales or cooking, the husk must be taken from the grains.
  • Then cook the rice to make the steamed rice - an important dish in any Vietnamese meals.

Rice Harvest in hand

Rice harvest in Hoa Binh

Important factors to make sure of bumper rice crops - according to experienced Vietnamese famers.

Weather makes a big impact to the agriculture in general & on rice cultivation in particular.Sometimes, famers are going to harvest their expected bumber crop, a big typhoon takes place, the farmers get not much left to reap. If not considering the weather factor, according to experienced Vietnamese farmers, the following factors must be put into consideration for a bumper rice crop in Vietnam.

Nhất nước, nhì phân, tam cần, tứ giống ( Water as the first vital importance, Manure as the second factor, Hardworking is the third must, Seed is the fourth element)

Buffalo riding -VN

1.Water, the most important factor for the rice paddy's growth.

Since the baby rice plant is cultivated in the fields till its harvesting time, water source must always be constant at certain level in the paddy fields - like the blood to the body.If water is not available in the fields, the rice paddy could get withered and end its life.Planting rice in Vietnam is truly favourable thanks to her good water supply from Red River & Mekong River by the water irrigation system as well as yearly reasonable rainfalls.

2.Manure, the additional nutrient to feed the rice paddy.

Rice cultivation in Vietnam is repeatedly taken place each year with 2- 3 crops leading to the soil's fertility reduction.When the new crop starts, farmers will both let the land free for a while and add a number of manure to the fields,which will bring more nutrient for the soils and help the rice paddy grow steadily.During the time of paddy growth, farmers also take care of their fields with some additional N-P-K fertilizers as well.

3.Hard working, the farmers' efforts to take care of the paddy.

Rice cultivation needs a lot of hard work : from ploughing, harrowing the fields to planting the paddy, harvesting the grains, taking husks from the grains and cooking the rice for steamed rice...... When the rice is sown, farmers need to visit the fields regularly to make sure that water supply is available, no pest destroy the paddy.For a good reap of the rice return, hard work is a must as the third important factor for a bumper rice crop in Vietnam.

Rice planting Vietnam - cay trau

Ploughing the fields by buffalo

4.Good Seed Selection.

Good seed is another essential factor for a good reap.With the good seed selection, the rice paddy will grow well, resist itself better to certain diseases & prove productivity.

All those factors are equally important.To make sure any bumper crops,the farmers will have to pay great attention to all of those fundamental elements at the same time.

Get insight of Rice Cultivation in Vietnam with Golden Holiday Travel.

Above are our local share of how the rice is cultivated in Vietnam, top factors for a bumper crop, and the places to plant the rice in Vietnam, we hope you will have a good insight of rice cultivation in Vietnam.If you love to experience steps to cultivate the paddy in Vietnam, interact with Vietnamese farmers or admire stunning rice terraces in Northern Mountain Vietnam, we are happy to support your travel needs for the ultimate experiences of rice farming as well as farmers' daily life in Vietnam.Feel free to drop us an email to or contact us +84.988451530 (whatsapp, viber)

Need local support, please, let us know!

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