Caø Mau looks to Vi­etGAP stan­dards to raise prof­its

Viet Nam News - - FRONT PAGE -

CAØ MAU — The south­ern­most prov­ince of Caø Mau has en­cour­aged farm­ers to raise shrimp and grow more rice and other crops un­der Viet­namese Good Agri­cul­tural Prac­tices (Vi­etGAP) to in­crease prof­its.

The prov­ince pro­duces high­qual­ity prod­ucts and uses ad­vanced farm­ing meth­ods, in­clud­ing the ro­ta­tion of rice and shrimp on rice fields, and cul­ti­va­tion of veg­eta­bles and wa­ter­melon un­der Vi­etGAP stan­dards.

Un­der the rice-shrimp model, farm­ers grow rice in the rainy sea­son and breed shrimp in the dry sea­son in rice fields in coastal ar­eas.

They can har­vest about five tonnes of rice per hectare and earn VNÑ45 mil­lion (US$1,930) from breed­ing shrimp.

The prov­ince, the coun­try’s largest shrimp pro­ducer, has ap­plied the rice- shrimp farm­ing model since 2000 and has 51,570ha of rice - shrimp farm­ing fields, ac­count­ing for nearly 18 per cent of its to­tal brack­ish­wa­ter shrimp farm­ing area.

As part of the model, the shrimp eat nat­u­ral food in the rice fields where few chem­i­cals are used.

Rice va­ri­eties planted un­der the model in­clude spe­cialty rice like and

These va­ri­eties, which are re­sis­tant to salty wa­ter and dis­ease, are in high de­mand for their de­li­cious taste.

The prov­ince uses Vi­etGAP stan­dards for its rice-shrimp farm­ing model.

Phaïm Vaên Mòch, di­rec­tor of the prov­ince’s Agri­cul­ture Seed Cen­tre, said coastal ar­eas that grow spe­cialty rice va­ri­eties in the delta and in Caø Mau in par­tic­u­lar have good con­di­tions for rice grown un­der Vi­etGAP stan­dards.

“The stan­dards form the ba­sis for build­ing brand names for the spe­cialty rice va­ri­eties, and they also in­crease rice value and in­come for farm­ers,” he said.

The prov­ince’s rice- shrimp farm­ing model can be found in Caø Mau City, U Minh, Traàn Vaên Thôøi, Caùi Nöôùc and Thôùi Bình dis­tricts.

In Thôùi Bình, lo­cal farm­ers grow spe­cialty rice and raise shrimp on 1,500ha.

This year, the price of spe­cialty rice planted un­der the model sold for VNÑ500 – VNÑ700 a kilo more than rice grown by tra­di­tional farm­ing meth­ods.

The dis­trict is also grow­ing rice un­der GobalGAP stan­dards on an area of 30ha in Trí Löïc Com­mune, ac­cord­ing to the prov­ince’s Plant Cul­ti­va­tion and Pro­tec­tion.

Caø Mau is also de­vel­op­ing large fields that use the “3 re­duc­tions and 3 in­creases” method to grow rice un­der Vi­etGAP stan­dards.

The 3-3 method refers to the re­duced use of seeds, fer­tilis­ers and plant pro­tec­tion chem­i­cals to achieve bet­ter pro­duc­tiv­ity, qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency.

Rice is one of five key prod­ucts in the prov­ince’s agri­cul­tural re­struc­tur­ing plan to 2020. The five key prod­ucts are shrimp, mud crab, high-qual­ity rice, ba­nanas and wood.

Be­sides rice and shrimp, many farm­ers have planted veg­eta­bles and wa­ter­melon un­der Vi­etGAP stan­dards, earn­ing high prof­its.

In Caø Mau City’s Lyù Vaên Laâm Com­mune, 34 house­holds have planted wa­ter­melon un­der Vi­etGAP stan­dards, earn­ing an av­er­age profit of VNÑ200 mil­lion ($8,590) per hectare a year, up 40 per cent against tra­di­tional farm­ing method.

How­ever, some farm­ers have not had a higher profit or sta­ble out­lets for their Vi­etGAP prod­ucts as their sell­ing prices at times were not higher than those re­ceived for crops grown un­der tra­di­tional farm­ing meth­ods.

The prov­ince will call on more com­pa­nies to guar­an­tee out­lets for Vi­etGAP prod­ucts, ac­cord­ing to the prov­ince’s Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment.

Nguyeãn Vaên Tranh, deputy di­rec­tor of the prov­ince’s Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment, said the depart­ment in co-op­er­a­tion with sci­en­tists and com­pa­nies would guide farm­ers in im­ple­ment­ing new agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion mod­els such as a clean-rice model.

“When com­pa­nies work with farm­ers, the is­sue of out­lets will be solved,” he said.

The prov­ince has about 168ha of farm­land that grows rice and other crops un­der Vi­etGAP stan­dards, ac­cord­ing to the prov­ince’s Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment. — VNS

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