HCM CITY — More than 2,500 families in the southernmost province of Ca Mau are benefiting from a new rice-shrimp farming model, according to the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The department said that more than 4,600 ha of land used to grow rice and raise shrimp have yielded a bumper crop this year, with 4.5 tonnes of rice per hectare and 500 kg of shrimp per hectare.
On average, each household earned a profit of at least VND100 million (US$4,784).
An additional 6,000ha of rice-shrimp farming land is expected to be harvested soon, resulting in a doubling of agricultural productivity compared to the corresponding period last year.
Local agricultural experts have been conducting research on how to best combine rice cultivation and shrimp breeding on the same land.
According to experts, farmers can raise shrimp on their rice fields during rice cultivation if the water in the fields is either brackish or freshwater.
Land used to grow rice is less polluted, and thus good for raising shrimp. In addition, shrimp raised on the rice fields are less likely to catch diseases.
Because of the doubling of profits for farmers via the rice-shrimp model, the local authorities have decided to expand the project from 12,000ha to 20,000ha by 2015.
Nguyen Quoc Viet of the Ca Mau Province's Department of Science and Technology said that, of the 270,000ha of land available in the province to raise shrimp, not all of it could be used for that purpose.
Only 40,000ha of that total figure has fresh or brackish waters, which is needed to raise shrimp. Salty-water areas cannot be used.
For this reason, farmers should talk to local experts and the authorities before they begin breeding shrimp, Viet said — VNS