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Drought, saline intrusion crimp Ca Mau shrimp farmers

Update: April, 15/2015 - 10:18
Already, 1,200ha of prawn farms have been affected. Losses are estimated to reach billions of dong. — File Photo

CA MAU (VNS) — Drought and saline water intrusion have seriously affected rural production in southernmost Ca Mau province over the past two months. The problem is forecast to last for another month or so.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, thousands hectares of land used for shrimp farms by 36,000 households face severe water shortages.

Already, 1,200ha of prawn farms have been affected. Losses are estimated to reach billions of dong.

Extensive breeding areas in districts of Dam Doi, Cai Nuoc, and Phu Tan had dried up due to prolonged drought.

Many households pump water from rivers to the shrimp ponds, but this is said not to be very effective.

Meanwhile, nearly 10,000 ha of farmland alo ng the entire 252km coastline of the province are suffering from saltwater intrusion.

Trinh Xuan Hung, director of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting in Ca Mau Province, said salinity in the province's main rivers was higher than last year.

Ca Mau has had no rain for months and the drought is forecast to be more severe than in previous years, Hung added.

According to Nguyen Van Trung, deputy head of Aquaculture Department, the higher salt concentrations in breeding water will harm shrimp growth and encourage diseases to spread. This partly explains why there have already been so many shrimp losses in recent months.

Rice would also die if salt concentrations in paddy fields become higher than 3 per cent, he added.

The agricultural sector recommended local farmers temporarily stop out of season shrimp farming with the exception of industrial shrimp production, Le Van Su, the agricultural sector's director said. — VNS

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