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Vietnam Moves to White Legged Shrimps for Export

VIET NAM - White-legged shrimps are being raised by farmers in Viet Nam in a bid to diversify their products and increase their output.

The Aquaculture Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the shrimps are bred in a total of 12,411 hectares out of a total 369,094 hectares devoted to farming for all kinds of shrimp.

Most of the area for cultivating white leg shrimps was previously used for raising sugpo prawns, according to the ministry.

"The aim of this conversion is to diversify our exports," said Nguyen Viet Thang, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

A total of 24 provinces have produced 12,300 tonnes of white-legged shrimps and 78,300 tonnes of prawns so far this year.

The minsitry asid that breeding white-legged shrimps have many advantages because of their high productivity and because they are quick to grow, consuming little food and they are more immune to diseases.

Minister Phat said that globally, white-legged shrimps have many positive changes and Vietnam should make use of this advantage to generate jobs and raise farmers’ incomes.

By June 2008, the country had 2,488 shrimp breed production farms, including 2,437 prawn farms and 51 white leg shrimp farms.

According to the provincial Departments for Agricultural and Rural Development, in the first months of this year, a large number of prawns and white-legged shrimps were infected with diseases. About 43 per cent of the white-legged shrimps in breeding farms in the Go Cong Dong district of southern Tien Giang province died of diseases.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Viet Thang, affirmed that it is essential to strictly manage the quality of these two kinds of shrimp and to prevent breeding them outside the designated areas. He also attributed the dead shrimps in Tien Giang to poor breeding.

Minister Phat has promised that his ministry will create the best conditions for shrimp importers.

The ministry will also ask the Aquaculture Breeding Department to simplify its administrative procedures and complete them within seven days. The Veterinary Department will also intensify its management of the border areas to ensure the quality of imported shrimps to the Vietnamese market, he added.

Pham Van Duc, director of the Ca Mau provincial Aquaculture Department, said that the number of dead shrimps in the province has reduced by nearly 12 per cent. At present, Ca Mau used 117,000 hectares to breed shrimps and other types of animals due to complicated weather changes, the water and poor irrigation network. In addition, most local farmers are small-scale breeders with out-of-date technologies.

To deal with environmental pollution issues, many localities require an environment monitoring centre. Deputy Minister Thang said that Vietnam now has three national environment and aquaculture monitoring centres located in northern Bac Ninh province, central Khanh Hoa province and Ho Chi Minh City. Aquaculture breeders also need to cooperate with these centres to deal with problems relating to the environment and aquatic diseases in time.