Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Authorities in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta have tightened management of breeding areas for tra fish as prices continue to rise.
More farmers are breeding the fish because of the high price, but authorities have told them to not breed the fish in unzoned areas as there are threats of disease outbreaks and reduced productivity.
The price of adult tra fish and fingerling tra fish have been stable since early last year, resulting in many farmers switching to breed the fish.
The price of adult tra fish is VNĐ32,000 – 33,000 (US$1.4 – 1.6) a kilogramme, up VNĐ1,000 – 2,000 a kilogramme against last month.
In Long An Province, the People’s Committee has ordered local authorities in Tân Hưng, Vĩnh Hưng and Thạnh Hóa districts and Kiến Tường Town to warn local rice farmers not to breed fish in unzoned areas.
Many farmers in the districts and town began turning their paddy fields into tra fish breeding ponds late last year.
In Long An’s Tân Hưng District, the fry fish breeding area has increased from 500ha late last year to nearly 800ha.
Farmer Võ Văn Liếp in Tân Hưng District’s Hưng Điền B Commune says the profit from breeding tra fries is many times higher than that from rice.
Each hectare of tra fry fish can yield a profit of VNĐ300 – 400 million ($13,200 – 17,600) after three months of breeding, while the profit from rice is VNĐ20 million ($880) per hectare for each three-month crop.
The Long An Province People’s Committee has also instructed its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to review its aquaculture zoning plan and work with localities to determine which aquaculture areas have water and land resources suitable for breeding the fish.
In Đồng Tháp Province, the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has petitioned the province’s People Committee and the Tân Hồng District People’s Committee to stop the digging of new tra fish ponds in unzoned areas in Tân Hồng.
Tân Hồng District and Hồng Ngự Town have the largest new tra fish breeding areas in Đồng Tháp.
Farmers in Đồng Tháp, the delta’s largest tra fish producer, have turned more than 100ha of rice fields into tra fish ponds so far this year, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
In the delta, tra fries are bred mostly in Đồng Tháp, An Giang and Long An provinces.
Đồng Tháp has produced more than 164 million of tra fingerling in the first three months of the year, down 44 million fries against the same period last year because of unfavourable weather.
Đồng Tháp supplies its tra fingerling to local farmers and nearby provinces and Cần Thơ City.
Hồ Thanh Dũng, deputy director of the Đồng Tháp Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the price of tra fingerling, about 30 fingerling a kilo, was at VNĐ70,000 a kilo, up VNĐ31,000 against the same period last year.
Đồng Tháp has 207,000 tra fish breeders which have produced fries since 2013.
The Đồng Tháp Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked tra fry producers to gradually replace old tra fish breeders to improve the quality of fries.
The delta produced about 373,400 tonnes of adult tra fish in the first four months of the year, an increase of 9 per cent year-on-year, according to statistics from the Delta’s provinces and Cần Thơ. - VNS