A cement tank for breeding soft-shell turtles in Xuyên Mộc District’s Bàu Lâm Commune in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nhị
BÀ RỊA – VŨNG TÀU — A new way of breeding soft-shell turtles in cement tanks has offered high incomes for farmers in Xuyên Mộc District in the southern province of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu.
Hoàng Văn Thám in Bàu Lâm Commune's 2 Tây Hamlet once grew pepper and bred pigs and cows, but switched to breeding turtles after the price of pepper fell and profits from goat and pig breeding declined.
Last year, Thám began raising 1,500 soft-shell turtles in cement tanks after visiting a breeding model at a farm in Đồng Nai Province’s La Ngà District. One year later, he sold his farmed turtles, earning a profit of VNĐ120 million (US$5,170).
“The death and loss rate of soft-shell turtles farmed in a cement tank is not as high as those that are farmed in a pond with soil,” he said.
Water in the breeding tanks must be clean and replaced regularly to prevent infection from fungi, which causes them to grow slowly and die.
Hoàng now farms 3,000 soft-shell turtles in three cement tanks covering 1,000 sq.m each. Most farmers in the province breed turtles in ponds.
The profit is high, but the capital needed to buy soft-shell turtles is also high, according to farmers.
Hoàng Hứa, who breeds nearly 4,000 soft-shell turtles in cement tanks in 2 Tây Hamlet, said he had staggered the breeding of turtles to reduce the amount of capital needed.
In this way, he could have a harvest year round and had enough money to farm soft-shell turtles.
Bàu Lâm has seven households breeding soft-shell turtles in cement tanks, according to the Bàu Lâm Farmers Association.
Lê Quang Tuấn, deputy chairman of the association, said the number of households breeding soft-shell turtles in cement tanks was not large, but their success offered a new farming model.
The high price and stable outlets for sales had improved income for farming households, he said.
The association had organised training courses in soft-shell turtle breeding techniques for its members. VNS