Gia Lai: Potential exploitation of cage culture in reservoirs
According to Gia Lai provincial Sub-department of Livestock Production and Animal Health, the province has 700 fish cages in reservoirs, mainly in the An Khê town, Ia Grai district, Chư Păh, Đăk Đoa, and Chư Prông, producing more than 500 tons of output per year.
15 thousand of hectares of water surface
Cage culture has been developed for one year in the Đăk Đoa Hydropower reservoir (in Đăk Krong commune of Đăk Đoa district) and brought good results. Sardines, red tilapia, and tilapia have weighed up well.
The Cooperative started with four cages in the first place, and there are 18 cages now. Director of the Đăk Krong Agriculture Cooperative Trịnh Khắc Dương said that the first cage of nearly 1 tons tilapia has just been sold, valued at 30 million dong. In his opinion, a cage of red tilapia requires 50 kilograms of breeds and produces 1-1.5 tons of commercial fish after 4-5 months. Farmers will earn a large sum of money if wholesale prices range between 35,000 and 40,000 dong/kg.
The Gia Lai Provincial Aquatic Breeding Center and the Agriculture and Rural Development Office of the Chư păh district have helped 30 households of the Doch 1 and Dip villages (in Ia Kreng commune) with the cage culture project. They have been trained with farming techniques, cage frame investment, and a total of 30,000 fish fries and feed.
The Aquaculture Service Cooperative of the Ia Tô commune invested into 30 cages in the Ia Grai Hydropower reservoir, mainly stocking red tilapia. Bùi Hữu Chính, a member of the Cooperative, said that red tilapia is easy to rear as they weigh up fast and are well consumed. “There are times when those 30 cages produce a worth of over one billion dong”, said Chính.
Look for markets
Cage culture development in Gia Lai may face certain risks such as sickness, an increasingly polluted environment, and especially unstable markets.
Bùi Hữu Chính, a member of the Aquaculture Service Cooperative in Ia Tô commune said that water resource is easy to get polluted during the rain season, affecting the growth of fish. Then, the Cooperative has to reduce the number of farming cages and halt the stocking.
Farmer Hạnh, a member of the cage culture group in Doch 1 village (of Ia Kreng commune, Chư Păh district) said that the Cooperative is rearing 11 cages of tilapia and green catfish. Tilapia has reached the harvest size but a small amount has been sold to mainly villagers and households in the vicinity. When green catfish is about to harvest, local farmers must look for buyers from other areas.
Being concerned about business, members of the Đăk Krong Agriculture Cooperative have boosted the research of markets. “Members want to expand the model and invest into more cages, but are concerned about markets. The Cooperative will contact big agencies around the province to look for stable markets”, said Trịnh Khắc Dương, Director of the Đăk Krong Agriculture Cooperative.