1939, Prophet Huynh Phu So, a native of Hoa Hao village in Tan Chau district, Chau Doc province, founded Hoa Hao Buddhism. Since then, it has grown rapidly into a major religion. Its influence has spread over the Mekong River Delta which is the Western part of South Vietnam notably in the following provinces: Chau Doc, An Giang, Sadec, Kien Phong, Vinh Long, Phong Dinh, Chuong Thien, Kien Giang, Ba Xuyen, Bac Lieu, An Xuyen, Dinh Tuong, Long An, Kien Hoa, Kien Tuong, and the capital, Saigon- Gia Dinh.
The highly fertile area of the Mekong Delta plays a very important part in the agricultural economy of Vietnam. In fact, most of the rice exported come from here, an area known as the Rice basket of Vietnam.
The Western Area covers an area of 18,850 square kilometers of farm land which yields 3,000,000 tons of rice per year, in addition to fishery and animal husbandry, and various other crops.
South Vietnam (*), with a total area of 173,260 square kilometers, has about 30,000 square kilometers being farmed. The Western Area where Hoa Hao Buddhism was founded, occupies 60 percent of the total cultivable land of the country.
(*) By South Vietnam here meant that part of Vietnam South of the 17 th Parallel, corresponding to the territory of what used
to be the Republic of Vietnam ( 1955- 1975 )