Mekong Delta district expands shrimp-rice farms
Rotation models allow farmers to make about $13,200 per hectare per year
HCM CITY As profits rise from shrimp-rice rotation models, Kienâ GiangProvincesVónhThuanä District plans to expand the cultivation area to a total of 10,000ha.
Under the highly profitable model, farmers use the same field to grow blue-legged prawns and white-legged shrimp in the dry season, while rice is cultivated in the rainy season.
Phamï Vanê Hauä , vice chairman of the Vónh Thuanä District Peoples Committee, said that breeding prawns lasts for six months and shrimp three months.
With such a schedule, farmers can harvest three crustacean crops and one rice crop a year.
The model provides an average profit of about VNÑ300 million (US$13,200) per ha per year, he said.
The district plans to expand the model in Vónh Bình Nam, Vónh Bình Baéc and Bình Minh communes, which are located along the Caiù Lônù River, and in Tanâ Thuanä Commune.
The shrimp bred under this model is considered clean because farmers do not use chemicals. In addition, the quality of the field soil improves and provides natural food for the shrimp.
Also, farmers no longer have to worry about selling their products as traders come to their fields to buy the shrimp.
Voõ Vaên Söõa, who has 3ha of land in Vónh Bình Bacé Commune, said he earns a profit of more than VNÑ900 million ($36,600) a year from shrimp and rice. In the past, his family bred black tiger shrimp and did not always earn a profit.
To enhance efficiency, the district will expand the market for bluelegged prawns as farmers are more willing to switch to the model when there is a stable outlet.
Under the districts agricultural restructuring plan, the district is developing the rotation model, but many farms are still breeding only shrimp, he said. This could lead to polluted water resources and soil degradation, which could damage farms.
This year, the district will register a collective brand for its bluelegged prawn and rice planted under the shrimp-rice rotating model, he said.
Shrimp and rice are two key agricultural products in the Cöuû Long (Mekong) Delta district of Vónh Thuanä , where the soil is affected by aluminum and saltwater intrusion.
The districts blue-legged prawns are sold domestically and also exported to Cambodia.
Last year, the district bred about 23,880ha of various kinds of shrimp with a total yield of about 12,580 tonnes, up 20 per cent against 2016.
Of the figure, blue-legged prawn accounted for 5,551 tonnes, and white-legged shrimp and black tiger shrimp the rest. VNS
Farmers in Kieân Giang Provinces Vónh Thuaän District harvest black tiger shrimp. VNA/VNS Photo Leâ Sen