Nam Định: Power cut, farmers have to sell small shrimp, hesitate to stock

Shrimp farms in Hải Hậu district (Nam Định province) are forced to sell shrimp before harvest time due to unrelenting power outages. They don’t dare to stock because of overlapping production costs.

Summer heat and intermittent power cuts are making shrimp households in Hải Hậu district (Nam Định province) sell shrimp before harvest time and empty the ponds. Those who want to keep rearing have to stay at the shrimp ponds all day and night to operate the electric generators.

According to Nguyễn Ngọc Minh in Tây Bình village of Hải Triều commune, Hải Hậu district, most of the shrimp ponds were stocked at this time of previous year, but this year is different when households are just stocking a few number of breeding stocks. This is attributed to the fact that prices of commercial shrimp have declined since earlier this year while the feed prices rise up to 800 dong/kg on average and power bills increase by 3%. 

Households don’t dare to stock due to continual power cuts since June. Minh’s family has three shrimp ponds but just one is stocked and the two others are used as settling ponds.

“Summer heat increases the temperature of water, creating favorable conditions for germs to develop, thus grow-out ponds must always be cooled down by a fan system. As usual, the electric bill during rush hour is just over 3,000 dong/unit, however if a generator is used, it will cost us 8,000 – 9,000 dong/unit. If blackouts prolong, households will not be able to afford it”, said Minh. 

Farmer Nguyễn Văn Chung, in Trung Châu village of Hải Chính commune has three shrimp ponds. He said that a generator not only costs him a rising electricity bill but also he has to pay money for repair because it works continually.

Moreover, shrimp need more oxygen at night. When power is cut, farmers must stay up all night to operate the water fan system because oxygen insufficiency will result in a massive death in the shrimp pond.

According to Nam Định provincial Sub-department of Fisheries, the province plans to have 16,000 ha of aquaculture and produce over 132,000 tons. The total white leg shrimp farm will be over 1,100 ha, producing over 4,200 tons. About 2,000 ha of black tiger shrimp have been stocked (reaching 87% of the plan) and 750 ha of white leg shrimp have been filled (reaching 68%).

The price of brackish water shrimp decreased about 10,000 – 20,000 dong/kg (as compared to May). The 50 count white leg shrimp are sold at 150,000 dong and the 40 count black tiger shrimp are sold at 250,000 dong.

Hoàng Mạnh Hà, Head of the Nam Định provincial Sub-department of Fisheries evaluated that white leg shrimp were stocked in late April but summer heat and sudden stormy rain in May resulted in dead shrimp in most of the outdoor ponds. Thus, households must follow weather forecasts to make the right decisions in stocking and avoid risks.



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