Farmers in Cà Mau are having golden opportunities to raise their income after growing rice and shrimp together. In these fields, the rice is going to be recognized as an organic product and assured exclusive sales at high price. And soon shrimps from these fields will become organic product for export.
Cà Mau is having over 40,000 hectares of rice-shrimp fields, accounting for nearly one fourth of the whole farming areas of the province. Head of Agriculture and Rural Development Office of Thới Bình district says Thới Bình, Trần Văn Thời, U Minh, Cái Nước and Cà Mau city are practicing this system.
Upon the improvement in growing technique, Cà Mau farmers are well aware and take the initiative in selecting their own production system for sustainability and environmentally friendliness assurance with rice-shrimp system being apparently preferred.
After ten years of performing rice-shrimp system, Cà Mau farmers assure the safety of rice which is grown on shrimp farming soil. They apply general disease prevention programs without using any insecticide right from the transplanting of rice seedlings to the harvest to protect shrimps (key species) from any harm. However, rice from these fields in Cà Mau is priced at the same amount with rice from areas specializing in two or three rice cultivation seasons as it has not been certificated an organic product. That’s why authorities in Cà Mau and Thới Bình are working so hard to build the trademark of organic rice in rice-shrimp farming soil so that local farmers can raise their income.
As presented in the project of “Thới Bình Organic Rice”, the district targets to have rice from 10,000 hectares of farming area recognized organic product. To carry out the project, local authorities enhanced the propaganda and technique transferring right from the start of the project (March 2018), and provided farmers with high quality rice that can be planted in high water salinity and meet export requirements. Thanks to that, the district have cultivated over 21,400 hectares of rice on shrimp farming area, accounting for almost 50% of the whole rice-shrimp farming land of the province by October. The district has built a 14,000 hectares of rice-giant river prawn farming area and 3,000 hectares of rice-organic special shrimp areas and rice-high quality shrimp areas (type ST5, ST20, ST24) in Trí Phải, Trí Lực, Thới Bình and Biển Bạch Đông commune.
Nguyễn Hoàng Lâm says in 2018 rice-shrimp crop at least three companies entered into an exclusive sales contract of rice with 500-700 dong/kg higher than market price. Besides, they offer 7,000-7,500 dong/kg for rice-shrimp type ST.