Southernmost province of Cà Mau is ramping up the amount of hectares given to super-intensive shrimp farming and faces the threat of environmental pollution.
Cà Mau has about 857 hectares of shrimp farm under the super-intensive farming model, up 175 hectares from the end of last year, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
The model is called super-intensive farming because the density of shrimp is more than 150 shrimp per-square-meter, three times higher than traditional farming. The average output under the super-intensive farming model is 40-50 tons per hectare each crop. Some households have a yield of 80-100tons/ha of breeding crop.
Nguyễn Văn Tuần, who runs 2,000 sq.m of super-intensive shrimp farm in Phú Tân District’s Phú Thuận Commune, said his family harvested about 9 tons of shrimp per 1,000 sq.m in the last breading crop after three months. With gate-price of VNĐ160,000 (US$7) a kilo, his family earned a profit of hundreds of millions of VNĐ, he said. If farmers implement the farming techniques properly, the super-intensive farming model offers high profits, he said. “However, this model required high investment cost,” he said, adding that his family had to invest about VNĐ700 million ($30,800) for the farming area.
Mai Hữu Chinh, director of the Cà Mau Department of Planning and Investment, said with the increasing area of super-intensive farming, Cà Mau faces the threat of environmental pollution as many households do not meet conditions for farming shrimp under the super-intensive model. The households do not have ponds for treating waste water and release untreated waste water directly into the environment, they said. Many households do not meet farming techniques instructed by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Châu Công Bằng, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province is drafting regulations for intensive and super-intensive shrimp farming in the province. Under the draft regulations, administrative fines for violations of environmental protection related to intensive and super-intensive shrimp farming could be VNĐ3-100 million ($130 – $4,400), he said.