|A tra fish fry breeding pond at the An Giang Province Fisheries Centre. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khương|
HCM CITY — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has approved a three-tier co-operation plan for production of high-quality tra fish breeds in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta from now to 2025.
The VNĐ597 billion (US$26.2 million) plan calls for tra fish breeding chains to produce about 50 per cent of the Delta’s demand of 2.2–2.5 billion high-quality fries a year by 2020.
By 2050, the production chains would supply 100 per cent of the Delta’s demand of 2.5–3 billion high-quality fries a year.
The first of the three tiers includes research institutes and universities that use advanced techniques in selecting tra fish breeders, using tra fish breeding production techniques and transferring the techniques to the second tier.
The second tier includes provincial tra fish breed producing centres, companies’ tra fish breed nurseries, while the third-tier includes establishments that nurse tra fish from the newborn to fingerling stages.
The plan will upgrade the An Giang high-quality tra fish breed centre and establish three concentrated tra fish breed production areas in An Giang Province.
Four concentrated tra fish breed production areas in Đồng Tháp Province will also be set up.
In the Delta, there are 108 tra fish artificial reproduction establishments and 1,900 households that nurse newborn tra fish to the fingerling stage, mostly located in An Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces, and Cần Thơ City.
There are about 101,000 tra fish breeders (mature female/male) aged 6-7 years that produce fish fries in tra fish artificial reproduction establishments in the Delta, according to the Research Institute for Aquaculture No. 2.
The delta is now facing a shortage of tra fish fries because of unfavourable weather conditions and small-scale production.
The price of tra fish fries is at VNĐ45,000–50,000 a kilo for the kind of fish that produces about 30 fries a kilo, according to the Việt Nam Pangasius Association.
Early last year, the price for this type was VNĐ27,000–39,000 a kilo. — VNS