The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kiên Giang has set itself a target of producing 63,000 tonnes of prawn and shrimp on brackish-water farms this year.
It includes 16,240 tonnes from industrial and semi-industrial farming, 40,838 tonnes from shrimp-rice farming and 5,922 tonnes from improved-extensive farming. Three main spices are farmed: black-tiger shrimp, white-legged shrimp and blue-clawed prawn.
Nguyễn Văn Tâm, director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the department has directed local authorities to monitor shrimp farming to ensure shrimp diseases remain under control. Relevant agencies and local authorities should closely follow the environmental situation to take proactive measures in case of saline intrusion during the ongoing dry season, he said.
The province should speed up agricultural expansion, promote the use of technology and advanced farming models and closely control production and provide shrimp for breeding, he said. It plans to restructure the sector based on the large shrimp farming model to add value and link seafood processing and export companies with shrimp farmers. It also plans to upgrade irrigation systems to provide water to meet the needs of shrimp farmers.
The province fisheries sector will regularly control the environment and disease outbreaks in prawn farming areas to quickly warn farmers. Individuals and companies are regularly trained in various shrimp farming models and provided advanced support. The fisheries sector has warned shrimp farmers they should inform authorities if there are symptoms of diseases to prevent large outbreaks.
In the first two months the province produced more than 4,500 tonnes of shrimp, nearly 36 per cent higher then in the same period last year. According to the department, the province could exceed this year’s target thanks to conducive weather and environmental conditions for farming shrimp.
Kiên Giang has a 200km coast that is ideal for developing the fisheries sector, particularly brackish-water prawn farming. Of the delta’s 77,000ha of rice fields where shrimp-rice farming is done, the province accounts for 20 per cent.
Last year the province’s brackish-water shrimp output topped 56,800 tonnes, nearly 9 per cent up year-on-year, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Shrimp-rice farming not only fetches farmers extra incomes but also helps them adapt to climate change, which has been causing increased saltwater intrusion in recent years.