|Fishing boats dock along the Cái Bé River in Kiên Giang Province’s Châu Thành District. – VNA/VNS Photo Lê Huy Hải|
KIÊN GIANG — The Mekong Delta Kiên Giang Province should breed aquatic species and animals, or grow other crops, in areas affected by drought and saltwater intrusion, Nguyễn Xuân Cường, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has said.
The province, which tops the country in rice production and fishery, should also reduce its rice cultivation in areas prone to drought or salinity.
Speaking at a meeting with Kiên Giang authorities last week, Cường said the province should invest in "clean" rice and organic rice cultivation, and establish linkages between rice production and consumption to create higher value.
In the 2018-19 winter-spring crop, the province grew more than 353,000ha of rice, with high quality rice accounting for 89 per cent of the crop, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
In the first half of the year, the province had 28 large-scale rice fields with a total area of 23,000ha. Farmers who participated in large rice fields are guaranteed outlets for their rice.
Nguyễn Văn Tâm, director of the department, said the province would use advanced farming techniques and expand large rice fields this year.
It would also restructure fishing and improve management of fishing boats, he said.
The province has advantages for fishing and aquaculture as it has a long coastline and many islands, rivers and canals.
Farmers breed aquatic species in saltwater, brackish water and freshwater areas under both extensive and intensive farming.
There are 281,000ha devoted to aquaculture, up 11.9 per cent against the same period last year.
The province has the largest number of fishing boats in the country, with a total of 9,845, including 3,991 offshore fishing boats.
In addition, devices will be installed on fishing boats longer than 15 metres for monitoring purposes. The equipment is used to record the routes of fishing boats, speed and other data, and during search and rescue efforts after accidents or natural disasters.
The devices have been installed on 2,174 offshore fishing boats.
Fishing ships that violate fishing regulations can be fined up to VNĐ1 billion (US$431,000) and have their licenses withdrawn.
Breeding, rather than catching, marine fish in coastal floating cages in Kiên Lương District’s Hòn Nghệ Commune should be expanded, Cường said.
The commune’s farmers breed marine fish, mostly cobia and grouper, in 1,100 cages and receive a good income.
The breeding of fish in coastal floating cages is being done in Kiên Hải, Phú Quốc and Kiên Lương districts and Hà Tiên Town.
Most of the marine fish bred in the cages are cobia, grouper and seabass. VNS