|Le Minh Duc harvests boi fish at his farm in Ca Mau Province. He has become a billionaire from farming fish. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hai
CA MAU (VNS)— A farmer in the southern province of Ca Mau became a billionaire farming boi fish.
"I decided to raise boi fish eight years ago, after seeing some of them thrive among anabas fish in a pond," said Le Minh Duc.
He said he had bred anabas fish since 2001, but decided to switch to boi fish because they fetched a higher price.
The low-lying land in the region is ideal for boi. Sweet, salty, dried boi fish is a regional specialty.
But yet, Duc was the first one in his district, Tran Minh Thoi, to farm them.
At that time he didn't know how to take care of the fish, how it reproduced or what food it liked. So he failed many times before he got it right.
The hardest part was finding fish to breed, as it was a rare species. The province's farmers association helped him learn how to breed them successfully, and in 2009 he made the bold decision to expand his farm to 1ha.
"That year, after grasping the techniques I decided to use anabas industrial feed for boi fish," Duc said. "The fish grew quickly and I earned VND150 million (US$7,000) by the end of 2009. That surprised my neighbourhood."
VND150 million was a big sum of money at that time, said Vo Thi Tien, Duc's wife.
"It is equal to 30 tael of gold," she added. "Its profit is nearly 30 times what we would make cultivating rice for a year."
The following year also proved successful. Duc made more than VND1 billion (US$46,530), profiting around VND 700 million ($32,571).
"To be successful in raising fish, farmers must be hardworking and patient, following the fish's development in each period and draw lessons," he said.
The farmers must also read books, newspapers and reference materials, and attend training courses on fish breeding, he said.
Learning from experience, Duc has expanded his fish farm to 200 ha.
"No one can deny Duc's success in large-scale fish breeding," said Duy Quoc Tuan, head of Tran Van Thoi District's Agriculture and Rural Development Department. "He has helped push the region's economy."
Tran Van Tuan, one of Duc's neighbours, said Duc was always willing to share his experiences and help others. He admired Duc for his diligence and for always trying his best to realise his dream. — VNS