Mekong shrimp farms make gains but need strategic plan: ministry

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
24 March 2007, at 12:00am

HO CHI MINH CITY - Mekong Delta shrimp output is growing as farmers convert low-yield rice paddies into shrimp farms, but the industry needs to fight disease and plan for the future to reach its potential.

The development of Mekong shrimp breeding over the past few years had boosted local income, provided new jobs and increased production output to both the domestic and overseas markets, said acting head of the Ministry of Fisheries’ Department of Aquaculture Vu Van Dung.

But Dung also said delta shrimp farming needed careful planning, high quality hybrids and advanced breeding methods to reach its optimal efficiency.

He called on local farmers to reorganise shrimp breeding, select quality hybrids, adhere to schedules and employ advanced farming methods to obtain even higher outputs.

Local shrimp farmer Vo Quang Huy in Soc Trang Province said he had earned VND300 million (US$ 18,000) in profits from harvesting 360 tonnes of shrimp on his 60 hectares in the Mekong Delta.

He attributed his success to alliances with fellow farmers made through a 100-member association, founded to act as a forum in which farmers assist one another in selecting breeds, disseminating advanced methods and converting low yielding rice fields into shrimp farms.

The Mekong River Delta now boasts 560,000 hectares of shrimp farms producing 293,000 tonnes of shrimp. Over the last six years, more than 300,000 hectares of low yielding rice fields in the delta have been converted into lucrative shrimp farms.

Additionally, innovative farmers in Kien Giang Province obtained 12,000 tonnes of shrimp by raising shrimp in active rice paddies last year.

Source: VNS