|Japanese koi fish. — Illustrative Image danviet.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Farmers in Binh Chanh District, HCM City, are farming ornamental Japanese koi fish and Japanese carp following an incentive programme launched by the city recently.
The programme, which was implemented by the city's agricultural extension centre, encourages local farmers to raise the two breeds of fish. It has helped three farming households in choosing fish breeds, food and farming techniques.
Due to its suitable water and soil quality, Binh Chanh District is being developed into a specialised resource area for farming these two ornamental fish species.
More than 20ha in the district have been dedicated for the purpose of koi and carp farming, according to the centre.
Vo Ngoc Anh, director of the city's agriculture extension centre, said more than 70 per cent of the fish were alive and growing well six months after the model was applied, resulting in good profits.
The centre plans to continue deploying this model in different areas of the city, especially in Binh Chanh District.
Nguyen Tan Phong, an experienced fish farmer from Village 1, Binh Loi Commune, said the average capital to invest in koi and Japanese carp farming was approximately VND100 million ($4,400) per hectare.
The commercial value of ornamental fish was ten times higher than the value of fish used for food, and its market price was also more stable, he said.
"With a 5ha koi and Japanese carp fish farm, each month I sell 300 kilos of fish with the average price of VND250,000 ($11) per kilo," he said.
The farmer is turning another 3ha of land into a fish farming area. If the project succeeds, he will expand the area to 8ha.
Nguyen Van Thiet, a farmer from Village 2, Tan Nhut Commune, who has a 4ha fish farm, makes a profit of nearly VND1 billion ($44,500) a year.
He said that although they were more difficult to raise, the market value of koi fish was double or triple that of other Japanese carp fish.
However, Tong Huu Chau, a fish farming expert in HCM City, said farmers should be cautious of over-expanding their koi and carp farms.
"This model requires high investment capital, while it's very difficult to keep most of the fish alive," he said.
"In addition, the market segment for these species is relatively small due to the high prices of the fish. Also, there is a limited area to build fish ponds," he added.
"Competition between the city's farmers and provincial farmers is another obstacle," said koi farmer Phong. — VNS