Due to high raw material price currently, many Vietnamese shrimp farmers in the Mekong Delta rush into seeding their ponds during the off-season.
However, farmers are being warned by experts about the risks of climate change, not to mention a severe drop in the shrimp price. Many farmers in Ca Mau, Soc Trang and Kien Giang southern provinces of Vietnam returned on shrimp farming after they left the ponds idle, hoping that the shrimp price continues to firm at high level.
Higher price to push off-season shrimp farming
Farmer Le Hoang Dam in An Minh district, Kien Giang province said that raw material shortage leads to record price at the end of season this year. Furthermore, shrimp production was also hit hard from prolonged drought. Shrimp price rise amid supply shortage.
As reported in Vietnam Fishery Magazine, raw material in Kien Giang rose from VND 30,000 to VND 50,000 per kilo since early November, depending on the size. Prices for 40 per kilogram count raw tiger shrimp are VND 185,000-195,000. For 30 count, prices are up VND 210,000 to VND 220,000; 20 count are up VND 300,000 to VND 310,000.
According to a manager of shrimp processor in Ca Mau, who did not wish to be quoted by name, shrimp price rose few VND per week since early December and seem to be hit record during first week of December. Farm gate prices for 100 per kilogram count raw white leg shrimp increased by VND 15,000 to reach VND 115,000 over the late November. The soaring price inspires farmers to raise shrimp again.
Farmers in Dam Doi district- biggest shrimp producing area in Ca Mau, have not left their ponds idle.Vo Quoc Thong, manager of Agriculture and Rural Development Dept. in Dam Doi said that farmers are being warned to raise shrimp in right time, right technical process to minimize the risk.
Similarly, many farmers in Soc Trang also rush to raise shrimp amid soaring price. Farmer Pham Quang Binh in My Xuyen district said that packers fail to purchase frozen and live shrimp in recent days due to supply shortage.
Nguyen Van Tam, deputy manager of Agriculture and Rural Development Dept. in Kien Giang province estimated that water surface area for raising shrimp will continue incresing, mainly in U Minh Thuong region. Tam said that besides soaring shrimp price, frustrated rice growers switch to shrimp due to climate change and saline intrusion which are killing their rice. But shrimp farmers also expressed their concerns over the sharp drop in price when water surface area for raising shrimp increases.
Nguyen Chi Cong, vice chairman of Vinh Chau commune, Soc Trang province said that this province has hundreds hectares of water surface area for raising off-season shrimp. “We have warned that farmers should not seed their pond earlier than normal because of potential risks like diseases, but they ignored”, Cong said.
According to Quach Thanh Binh, vice manager of Soc Trang fishery Dept., it’s estimated to public the schedule for seeding shrimp pond season 2017 next month, but water surface area for raising off-season shrimp has reached already 2,000 hectares.