|Members of the Đồng Tiến Co-operative harvest clams. –VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Kiệt|
BẠC LIÊU — The Đồng Tiến Co-operative in Bạc Liêu Province’s Hoà Bình District has been successful in breeding clams in muflats, providing stable jobs for more than 500 members in economic difficulty.
The co-operative is considered an exemplary co-operative model in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province. It breeds clams on a total of 900ha of mudflats in coastal areas in Vĩnh Thuận Commune.
The co-operative’s members are households with economic difficulties who were given support by local authorities to join the co-operative so they could have stable jobs.
The members can earn VNĐ250,000 - 300,000 (US$10 - 13) a day from harvesting clams and the income is higher during the peak clam harvest season.
The co-operative is now entering the harvest season.
Trần Văn Út, a co-operative member, said he earned VNĐ400,000 - 500,000 ($17 - 22) a day from harvesting clams in the past month.
With the earnings and the dividend paid by the co-operative to its members, he expects to have a good Tết (Lunar New Year) festival, which falls on February 1.
Võ Thanh Bình, another co-operative member, said his family joined the co-operative three years ago and now has a stable life because of a regular job.
This year the co-operative’s clam cultivation had high profits, so his family received a higher dividend from the co-operative.
The co-operative bought 5 billion clam seeds with a total cost of VNĐ12 billion ($520,000) for breeding this year.
The production cost to breed clams is mostly clam seeds. Clams eat natural food in the water so there is no need to buy food.
Huỳnh Mừng Em, its director, said the co-operative is expected to harvest a total of 5,000 tonnes of clams this year. Clams are harvested year round.
To be able to harvest clams year round, the co-operative staggers releasing baby clams into mud flats for breeding, avoiding oversupplies at harvest.
The current selling price of clams is VNĐ25,000 ($1.1) a kilogramme. With this price, the co-operative is estimated to earn a revenue of more than VNĐ100 billion ($4.36 million) this year.
The co-operative’s clams are sold in and outside the province, mostly to HCM City and southeastern provinces.
Em said the co-operative’s management board had focused more on effective cultivation, and as a result profits given to co-operative members had increased.
The co-operative has also provided additional support to its members who have economic difficulties in other areas in their lives. This helps to create a close relationship between the co-operative and its members, who are more willing to protect the clam breeding areas. — VNS