|The southernmost province of Ca Mau, the country's largest shrimp breeding area, faces a shortage of disease-free shrimp fries as it awaits completion of new zones for shrimp-fry breeding farms located near quality water sources. — Photo baotintuc.vn
CA MAU (VNS) — The southernmost province of Ca Mau, the country's largest shrimp breeding area, faces a shortage of disease-free shrimp fries as it awaits completion of new zones for shrimp-fry breeding farms located near quality water sources.
The province has 875 shrimp-fry nurseries that produce about 9-10 billion fries a year, meeting only 50 per cent of the demand of the province's shrimp farmers, according to the Ca Mau Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Local farmers have had to buy shrimp fries from other provinces.
Le Van Su, the department director, said several measures had been taken to manage the quality of shrimp fries, but difficulties had occurred.
Officials, for example, were not able to quarantine shrimp fries at their nurseries in other provinces, he said.
The province's shrimp-fry nurseries are small in scale and scattered, causing difficulties for local officials to inspect quality.
In addition, the awareness of shrimp farmers about the quality of shrimp fries is limited, while shrimp fries without any identifiable origin continue to be bred.
More than 12,000ha of shrimp in Ca Mau were infected with disease last year, including white-spotted disease, with a damage rate of 30 -70 per cent, according to the department.
The poor quality of shrimp fries was the main cause of the disease, experts said.
Phan Thong Minh, an experienced shrimp-fry producer in Ngoc Hien District, said the quality of shrimp fries accounted for 70 per cent of the success of shrimp breeding.
To ensure quality shrimp fries, Ca Mau is implementing a plan to zone shrimp-fry nurseries along large rivers which have good water resources and infrastructure.
The province has built the first phase of a large shrimp fry farm project on 55ha in Ngoc Hien District. It can produce about 7 billion shrimp fries a year.
The farm, invested in by the Viet Nam-Australia Co.Ltd, is now in its second phase, with an additional 66ha, which could produce 8 billion shrimp fries a year.
When the farm's first phase operates at full capacity, the province's shrimp fry supply will meet 75 per cent of demand, and with the second phase, 100 per cent of demand.
While waiting for the second phase to be completed and to improve the quality of shrimp fries, the department has given instruction in increasing quality and production efficiency to small shrimp-fry nurseries.
The department has also worked with shrimp-fry management agencies of neighboring provinces to increase the management of shrimp fries.
It has also offered training in identifying quality shrimp fries and publicised the inspection results of shrimp-fry nurseries on the department's website and in mass media.
Ca Mau is also planning a programme to develop disease-free shrimp fry in the 2016-2020 period, targeting about 20 billion disease-free shrimp fries a year and meeting 80 per cent of the demand of the province's shrimp farmers by 2020.
The province has nearly 300,000ha devoted to aquatic cultivation, mostly for shrimp. — VNS