|Farmers catch the snails from their paddies. — Photo nhandan.com.vn|Viet Nam News
QUẢNG TRỊ — Farmers in central Quảng Trị Province is struggling to cultivate rice in the summer-autumn crop season due to the outbreak of apple snails, an invasive species that attacks rice plants.
A report by authorities in the province’s Cam Lộ District said apple snails have eaten newly-sowed rice in 50 hectares of the district.
Farmers in Cam Lộ, a week ago, discovered their rice plants had been eaten. They later found many apple snails in the paddies, with hundreds of snails per one square metre.
Some farmers did their re-sowing, but the plants continued to be eaten. The farmers are waiting for support from the local authorities to stop the outbreak of the snail attacks. They made several efforts, including chemical spraying, but failed to kill the snails.
Experts said the high frequency of rains this summer reduced the time for the soil to dry, before cultivation, and this created favourable condition for the growth of apple snails.
The snail, which has the scientific name of Pomacea canaliculata, is an invasive species to Việt Nam. The country’s agricultural authorities, four decades ago, mistook the snail’s economic effect and imported the snail for breeding around the country. — VNS