|Farmers harvest shrimp in An Giang Province. Farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta have resumed breeding of shrimp as they expect the price will increase at the end of the year when exporters need more raw materials. — Photo danviet.vn
HCM CITY (VNS)— Farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta have resumed breeding of shrimp as they expect the price will increase at the end of the year when exporters need more raw materials.
In Ca Mau Province's Phu Tan District, many farmers had reduced their shrimp cultivation area because of low prices.
Nguyen Thanh Lam, who cultivates shrimp on two hectares of land in Tan Phu's Phu Hung Commune, bred shrimp in only two ponds (about 3,000 sq.m) during the last crop.
Tran Quoc Yen, deputy head of the Phu Tan Agriculture and Rural Development Department, said: "Most farmers here raise white-legged shrimp. After this year's first shrimp crop faced low prices, many farmers stopped breeding."
"In the ongoing third shrimp crop, many farmers have switched to breeding black-tiger shrimp, which have more stable prices," he said.
Farmers in Phu Tan have bred about 1,700ha of shrimp for this year's third crop.
Ca Mau has 9,200ha devoted to industrial shrimp farming, but only 4,100 ha has been used by farmers for this purpose, according to the province's Aquatic Cultivation Sub-department.
Nguyen Quoc Cong, head of the Sub-department's Aquatic Cultivation Division, said the area of shrimp cultivation would expand from now to the year end.
Ngo Thanh Linh, chairman of the Ca Mau Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said importers had offered better prices because the demand for raw shrimp materials increased at the year-end.
In Kien Giang Province, the area for industrial and semi-industrial shrimp farming models had reached 1,886 ha of the zone area of 3,000ha, according to the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Nguyen Van Tam, director of the department, said many companies and farmers had increased their cultivation area because of an expected rise in prices.
Vuong Thanh Dung, who has two hectares of industrial shrimp farming area in Ha Tien Town's Thuan Yen Commune in Kien Giang, said: "The price of shrimp always go up at the end of the year as shrimp processors increase their production to meet export orders."
Lower prices also occur as a result of combined rice and shrimp farming during the first two shrimp crops. Under this model, farmers plant rice in the rainy season, and in the dry season, let saline water enter fields to farm shrimp.
Kien Giang has the largest rice-shrimp farming area in the delta, about 80,000 ha, according to the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The delta has more than 160,000ha of rice-shrimp farming, yielding an average profit of VND60-70 million (US$2,800 – 3,300) per hectare a year, according to the Directorate of Fisheries.
Kien Giang, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and Soc Trang provinces have the largest areas of rice-shrimp farms in coastal areas. — VNS