Many households are not stocking giant tiger prawns and white leg shrimps for the new crop which is commonly harvested at the end of the year. This is attributed to the slump of shrimp prices which have fallen below the production cost. Additionally, from late September until now, the water environment is unsuitable, and salinity has dropped to 0‰.
Võ Văn An, from Hiệp Mỹ Tây commune of Cầu Ngang district, stated that his family has two hi-tech shrimp ponds with an area of 1.5 hectares. After harvesting the crop of whiteleg shrimp in mid-August 2023, he abandoned the pond. The reason is that water in the canals lacks salinity and has remained so until now.
Besides, the average price of white leg shrimp has decreased by 10,000-20,000 VND/kg from the same period last year. Therefore, he plans to wait until the end of the year, when the water environment stabilizes and the appropriate salinity returns, to start a newcrop in 2024.
Nguyễn Văn Đời, from Hiệp Mỹ Đông commune of Cầu Ngang district, mentioned that this year shrimp prices have decreased significantly. Once successful, farmers can still make a small profit, but if the disease outbreak occurs and early harvest must be carried out, they will suffer serious losses. Therefore, his family decided to rear giant river prawns from August 2023, because water salinity remains at 0‰.
Given the unfavorable weather conditions and environment, farmers may not earn profit with such shrimp prices. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development encourages farmers to utilize ponds and lakes to rear other aquatic species such as fish, giant river prawns, and mud crabs to offset their income.
Those households unable to convert their farming practices will renovate their ponds, closely monitor the water environment, and only proceed with shrimp stocking when conditions become suitable for the 2023-2024 crop.
According to the report by Trà Vinh provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, by the end of October 2023, there were over 38,220 households engaged in giant tiger prawn and white leg shrimp farming, with a total of more than 6.65 billion post larvae, covering an area of over 31,130 hectares, less than 270 hectares compared to 2022. The total shrimp yield harvested in the past 10 months exceeded 87,190 tons. The shrimp households breaking even reach 16% and over 14% operate at a loss.