Aquaculture for all

Workshops Seek Better Ways to Farm Mekong Catfish

Education & academia

VIET NAM - Workshops have recently been completed on the development of better management practices for catfish farming in the Mekong Delta.

Two workshops on the Development of better management practices for catfish farming in the Mekong Delta were organised at the Dong Thap Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Lanh district, Dong Thap Province and the Can Tho University, Can Tho City on 5 to 6 and 8 to 9 October 2009, respectively.

Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) reports that the two meetings brought together catfish farmers, district and provincial officials, representatives from the Ministry of the Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), processors and other stakeholders associated with the sector from the nearby provinces. At the meeting, draft better management practices (BMPs) for three sub-sectors, ie. catfish growth-out, hatchery and nursery operations, were presented and discussed in detail and the responses of the stakeholders obtained. The draft BMPs had been prepared based on an extensive survey of industry practices under the project Development of Better Management Practices for Catfish Aquaculture in the Mekong Delta, funded by AusAID.

At both meetings there was a very intense stakeholder participation and there was consensus that adoption of BMPs by sector is an obvious way forward to attain sustainability and meeting the modern certification requirements. The Vietnamese stakeholders were impressed by the achievements gained through formation of collaborative clusters of small scale shrimp farmers in India. It was appreciated that adoption of suitable BMPs and a cluster-based approach enables small scale farmers not only to make better profit but also act responsibly to minimise environmental impacts, attain sustainability and meet certification requirements.

The Vietnamese farmers volunteered to adopt BMPs on a trial basis and in some cases such farms would act as demonstration farms. The draft BMPs will be now be revised based on the stakeholder responses and will be ready for implementation of BMP trials in four provinces by January 2010. The draft BMP guidelines will be supplemented with suitably prepared brochures (growth-out, seed production and nursing) for easier comprehension by farmers.

On the completion of the BMP trials, a national stakeholder workshop including representation of MARD will be held in October 2010 when the final adoption of BMPs for wider dissemination and strategies for implementation of cluster approach will be decided upon.

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