Trà Vinh’s clam farmers suffer massive loss

Cooperative sand units engaged in clam farming in Trà Vinh have suffered from massive loss due to poor crop and low price.

Seven cooperatives and units in Trà Vinh have been given beach plain for clam farming by the Government with total 3,500 hectares and 2,000 participants. More than 2,000 tons of commercial clams are expected this year, down 50% as compared to 2017.

Director of Tiến Thành clam cooperative Phạm Văn Trường in Long Hòa commune, Châu Thành district said that around three billion young clams had been stocked in 200 hectare-beach-plains but only 400 tons of commercial lams were harvested, 300 tons less than 2017. From early this crop, one kilogram of 50-55 clams was sold at 21,000 dong and 60-65 clams at 17,500 dong, which was 7,000 dong less than last year averagely.

Farmers are taking the consequences of illegal sand exploitation around the province and the Tiền river along the border between Trà Vinh and Bến tre. Illegal sand exploitation has made mud and contaminants in the river return to surface, leaving huge changes which caused bad impacts to water environment and death to many clams at the first stage of stocking or grow slowly.

Early June 2018, hundreds of farmers in Châu Thành, Trà Vinh suffered from loss due to massive death of clams on 300-hectare-pond in Long Hòa commune right before the harvest. The pond was invested over 6.6 billion dong by a groupfrom Hai Thủ hamlet and Tiến Thành cooperative.

In previous crops, farmers usually harvested between 800 and 900 tons of commercial clams after 18 months of stocking, earning 15-16 billion dong. However this crop with massive dead clams has led to an estimated loss of 7 billion dong.

Farmer Lê Minh Thái, member of Hai Thủ clam group in nearly ten years, said that his clams grew slowly,and even remained the same size in the last two years. Around 90-95 percent of clams may losethis year.

The province is planning specific areas for farming, nursery, and exploitation of young clams, and transferring the technique of clam intensive-farming method. Besides, local authorities are building brand name of the province’s clam and connect with buyers. Trà Vinh People’s Committee is instructing Department of Environment and Resources, Environment Police and local authorities to enhance their supervision to prevent and handle illegal sand exploitation cases. Environment and resources must be preserved to facilitate clam farming of the province develop effectively and sustainably.

VFM

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