Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Freshwater aquaculture has prospered in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang recently because of advanced farming methods and good prices, according to the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The price of tra fish increased significantly last year, reaching VNĐ32,000-34,000 (US$1.4 - 1.5) a kilogramme at certain times, resulting in the revival of tra fish farming and nurseries.
Nguyễn Văn Năm, who has a 20ha tra fish farm beside the Tiền River in Cai Lậy District’s Tân Phong Commune, said at these prices tra farmers could make profits of VNĐ10,000 per kilogramme.
The revival of tra nurseries is also due to a resumption in exports, he said.
Lê Văn Hoàng, who breeds around 100 tonnes of tra fish fries a year in Thạnh Lộc, another commune in Cai Lậy, said the price of tra fry has increased sharply because of high demand.
The price is VNĐ60,000 – 70,000 ($2.6 - 3) for a kilogramme of fry of the type that has 40-45 to a kilogramme.
Hoàng said he earned a profit of VNĐ3 billion ($132,000) last year.
In Cái Bè District’s Hậu Mỹ Bắc A Commune, the province’s main area for the fish-rice farming model, many farmers have earned big profits from producing fries of various fish species.
Âu Văn On, head of the Hậu Mỹ Bắc A Commune Fisheries Union, said the production of fries of various freshwater fish under the rice-fish farming model fetches farmers hundreds of millions of đồng per hectare a year.
The rice they grow provides them with a further income, he said.
The province plans to have 5,830ha of freshwater fish farming this year, according to the department.
Shrimp and fish are bred mostly in rice fields in flood-prone areas, tra fish in ponds along the Tiền River, and tilapia and red tilapia in cages in the river.
Frogs, eels and other freshwater species are also bred under various farming models, including the horticulture-aquaculture-animal husbandry model.
Cao Văn Hóa, deputy director of the department, said the province has a dense network of rivers and canals and flood-prone areas in the upstream of the Tiền River and the Đồng Tháp Mười (Plain of Reeds) region for breeding high-value freshwater species.
Freshwater aquaculture provides work and income for farmers when there are no crops, he said.
The province has designated freshwater aquaculture areas, including rice-fish farming areas in Cái Bè District, fish cages in the Tiền River in Mỹ Tho City and Châu Thành and Cai Lậy districts, and fish fry nurseries in the Đồng Tháp Mười (Plain of Reeds) region.
It has 68ha of fish bred under good agricultural practices (GAP) standards, including 6.4ha under Global GAP standards.
The province also has around 1,190 fish cages to breed mostly red tilapia in the Tiền River. - VNS