Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Farmers in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh have expanded highly profitable super-intensive shrimp farming using advanced techniques.
The province now has 350ha of white-legged shrimp farms under the model, up 2.5 times since the end of last year, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The model is called super-intensive farming because the number of shrimp farmed is up to 250 per square metre, compared with 50 in traditional models.
Farmers thus harvest 40 tonnes per hectare per crop, seven to eight times higher than in traditional models.
Lê Văn Hậu, who has close to 20 years’ experience in breeding shrimp in Duyên Hải District’s Long Vĩnh Commune, said he first used the model in a 1,500sq.m pond earlier this year.
He bred 255,000 shrimp and harvested more than seven tonnes, earning a profit of more than VNĐ400 million (US$17,500), he said.
Shrimp bred under the model fetches VNĐ2,000 a kilogramme higher than usual, he said.
He plans to invest in one more pond before the next crop, he said.
“The model helps farmers control the quality of water used for breeding shrimp since water is settled in the resettling pond before being pumped into the main pond.”
But it requires a large investment since a one-hectare pond costs around VNĐ3 billion ($131,000) to build, according to the department.
The ponds are covered with anti-sunshine nets. Plastic sheets are placed in their beds, and fans are installed on the surface, as well as pumps on the beds to oxygenate the water.
Farmers can harvest four shrimp crops each year under the model.
Phạm Minh Truyền, deputy director of the department, said the model offers a lower risk of disease, with 95 per cent of shrimp farming areas proving efficient.
The department encourages farmers to expand their farms, he said.
“Shrimp farms using the model are expected to expand rapidly this year.”
The department has issued guidelines to develop the model sustainably and protect the environment.
Farmers have to build separate ponds to serve as a nursery, for keeping the shrimp when they grow slightly larger, settling water before pumping into the main pond, and hold wastewater for treatment, and instal oxygenation equipment for the ponds, the department said.
Nguyễn Văn Hiếu, secretary of the Duyên Hải Town Party Committee, said the town has advised farmers to ensure environmental protection and regularly inspects shrimp farms.
Duyên Hải has the largest area under super-intensive shrimp farming in Trà Vinh.
Last year the province produced 45,000 tonnes of brackish water shrimp, white-legged shrimp and black tiger shrimp.
With its 65km coastline, the province seeks to increase its brackish water shrimp output to 70,640 tonnes by 2020. - VNS