|Farmers grow mangrove forests in Trà Vinh Province’s Cầu Ngang District. – VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hoà|
TRÀ VINH – Trà Vinh Province is encouraging farmers in its coastal areas to adopt forest-shrimp and rice-shrimp models to adapt to climate change and ensure efficiency.
Under the first model, farmers breed shrimp in ponds in mangrove forests, while the latter involves rotating between shrimp in the dry season and rice in the rainy season in the same fields.
Located between the Tiền and Hậu rivers, two tributaries of the Mekong and bordering the sea, the province is usually affected by saltwater intrusion in the dry season, and these farming models are considered suitable for coastal areas.
Trần Văn Dũng, deputy director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province has nearly 4,000ha of mangrove forests planted by farmers.
They are raising shrimp, fish, crabs, and other aquatic species under extensive farming models in these forests, he said.
The province has allocated more than 5,120ha of mangrove forests to households and organisations to protect and breed aquatic species, he said.
Shrimp and other species bred in mangrove forests are clean and fetch 20 per cent higher prices than normal, he said.
Forest-shrimp and rice-shrimp models are mostly seen in Duyên Hải, Cầu Ngang, Châu Thành and Trà Cú districts and Duyên Hải Town.
Duyên Hải District has around 1,000 households practising forest - shrimp-fish farming on a total area of 850ha, according to its Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Trần Quốc Đoàn, head of the bureau, said they harvest shrimp and fish year round and earn VNĐ100-120 million (US$4,200-5,000) per hectare per year.
Huỳnh Văn Phong in Duyên Hải Town’s Hiệp Thạnh Commune carries out intensive shrimp farming on one hectare and forest-shrimp farming on two hectares.
Dũng said farmers in coastal areas are practising rice-shrimp farming in brackish water.
In Châu Thành District, farmers in the riverine island communes of Long Hoà and Hoà Minh successfully practise organic rice-giant river prawn farming, he said.
They harvest 5.4 tonnes of rice and 500 kilogrammes of prawns per hectare earning a total of VNĐ150-200 million ($6,300-8,400) from one crop a year each, he said.
The model produces clean products and is environment-friendly and sustainable, he added.
The province has support policies to encourage planting of mangrove forests.
Those who grow new forests on at least 0.3ha are provided 50 per cent of the cost of seedlings up to a maximum of VNĐ37 million ($1,600) per hectare.
The province plans to plant 800ha by 2025, increasing its forest coverage to 4.2 per cent. – VNS