Chăm ethnic farmer raises shrimp on dry land

A Chăm ethnic man in the coastal province of Ninh Thuận surprised his friends and neighbours by successfully turning dry land into ponds for breeding giant freshwater shrimp.

La Hoài Giang of Hiếu Thiện Village in Thuận Nam District has one of the first farms raising shrimp in the dry land area of Ninh Thuận .

At present, Giang earns dozens of million of đồng each day from the 6,000 square metre farm of giant freshwater shrimp. This is the fruitful result of my wife and me after nearly two years of self-learning to raise giant freshwater prawns in this barren and dry land”, he said.

Giang previously had nearly 10 years of experience farming of white-leg shrimp in Từ Thiện Village in Phước Định Commune but was not successful.

After that, he moved to HCM City to make a living and got married before moving back to his hometown in Ninh Thuận.

His parents owned much land but most of it had been abandoned for years as it was barren. So, in early 2020, Giang started surfing the internet to study and went to his wife’s hometown in the Mekong Delta region to learn how to raise fish. “Initially, I just planned to improve the land for rice growing but then I changed my mind to raise fish. But through research and my experiences in the southern provinces, I decided to breed giant freshwater prawns”, Giang said.

“I found the prawn breed was easy to raise and less susceptible to diseases, and female prawns could produce the baby prawns by themselves, so farmers only needed to invest for the first time but the ability to recover capital and economic efficiency was very high.”, Giang said.

After acquiring enough knowledge, Giang decided to use his family’s land. In the very early days, his idea was opposed by his family’s members and laughed at by neighbours because they thought that area was so arid that there was not enough water for living, let alone to raise prawns. But his enthusiasm convinced his parents and wife.

With initial investment of VNĐ1 billion (US$43,000), Giang dug four ponds to raise the shrimp. The ponds were drilled deep into 50m of soil and through several layers of underground rocks to reach groundwater.

In the first batch, he stocked 15,000 shrimp. After nearly eight months, he harvested the first adult shrimp for sale.

Since then, every day, his farm harvested from 40 to 100 kg of prawns sold at VNĐ 220,000 (US$9.5) per kilo. His daily profit reaches dozens of millions of đồng.

In order to make the shrimp grow stably in hot weather conditions, Giang sought solutions to keep the ponds cool by covering them with nets to create shade on the water surface.

“It was to avoid direct sunlight in the pond and make the water temperature increase. If the water temperature and oxygen concentration in the water are stable, the shrimp grow healthily,” Giang said.

According to Giang, to build trust and meet demand for clean food from customers, his prawns are completely reared and cared for in an organic way.

During the farming process, Giang does not use chemical antibiotics but only natural microorganisms, from fertilising the water, to feeding and cleaning the ponds.

To carry out microbiological farming, especially in creating a natural habitat and food source, Giang grew water hyacinths in the shrimp ponds that create shade and natural food for the shrimp.

The hyacinth clumps are a safe haven for juvenile shrimp.

“After being born, the baby shrimp live in these hyacinth clumps and then grew up so I do not need to spend money on buying new breeds anymore, Giang said.

Giang’s farm was the first shrimp farming model in Ninh Thuận to successfully breed giant freshwater shrimps, which were self-fertilising and could self-hatch baby shrimp in ponds.

“If not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, my family could earn VNĐ700million to 1 billion per year with this model,” he said. 


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