Shrimp farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Trà Vinh have expanded highly profitable super-intensive shrimp farming model.
According to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Trà Vinh has 350 ha of white-legged super-intensive farms, up 2.5 times since the end of last year. The density stocking is up to 250 per square metre, compared with 50 in traditional models. So, farmers harvest 40 tonnes per hectare per crop, seven to eight times higher than in traditional models.
Lê Văn Hậu, 20 years’ experience shrimp farmer in Duyên Hải district’s Long Vĩnh commune, said that he first used the model in a 1,500 sq.m pond earlier this year. Hậu bred 255,000 shrimp and harvested more than seven tonnes, earning a profit of more than VNĐ400 million (US$17,500). Hậu added: “The model helps farmers control the quality of water used for breeding shrimp since water is settled in the resettling pond before being pumped into the main pond.” But it requires a large investment since a one-hectare pond costs around VNĐ3 billion ($131,000) to build. The ponds are covered with anti-sun nets. Plastic sheets are placed in their beds, and fans are installed on the surface, as well as pumps on the beds to oxygenate the water.
Phạm Minh Truyền, deputy director of the department, said the model offers a lower risk of disease, with 95 per cent of shrimp farming areas proving efficient. The department encourages farmers to expand their farms, he said. The department has issued guidelines to develop the model sustainably and protect the environment.
Farmers have to build separate ponds to serve as a nursery, for keeping the shrimp when they grow slightly larger, settling water before pumping into the main pond, and hold wastewater for treatment, and instal oxygenation equipment for the ponds, the department said.
Nguyễn Văn Hiếu, secretary of the Duyên Hải Town Party Committee, said the town has advised farmers to ensure environmental protection and regularly inspects shrimp farms. Duyên Hải has the largest area under super-intensive shrimp farming in Trà Vinh. With its 65 km coastline, the province seeks to increase its brackish water shrimp output to 70,640 tonnes by 2020.