Freshwater aquaculture has prospered in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tien Giang recently because of advanced farming methods and good prices, according to the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
|Farming tra fish on Tan Phong islet in Tien Giang province’s Cai Lay district. |
The price of tra fish increased significantly last year, reaching VND32,000-34,000 ($1.4 - 1.5) a kilogramme at certain times, resulting in the revival of tra fish farming and nurseries.
Nguyen Van Nam, who has a 20ha tra fish farm beside the Tien River in Cai Lay district’s Tan Phong Commune, said at these prices tra farmers could make profits of VND10,000 per kilogramme.
The revival of tra nurseries is also due to a resumption in exports, he said.
Le Van Hoang, who breeds around 100 tonnes of tra fish fries a year in Thanh Loc, another commune in Cai Lay, said the price of tra fry has increased sharply because of high demand.
The price is VND60,000 – 70,000 ($2.6 - 3) for a kilogramme of fry of the type that has 40-45 to a kilogramme.
Hoàng said he earned a profit of VND3 billion ($132,000) last year.
In Cai Be district’s Hau My Bac A commune, the province’s main area for the fish-rice farming model, many farmers have earned big profits from producing fries of various fish species.
Au Van On, head of the Hau My Bac A commune Fisheries Union, said the production of fries of various freshwater fish under the rice-fish farming model fetches farmers thousands of dollars per hectare a year.
The rice they grow provides them with a further income, he said.
The province plans to have 5,830ha of freshwater fish farming this year, according to the department.
Shrimp and fish are bred mostly in rice fields in flood-prone areas, tra fish in ponds along the Tien River, and tilapia and red tilapia in cages in the river.
Frogs, eels and other freshwater species are also bred under various farming models, including the horticulture-aquaculture-animal husbandry model.
Cao Van Hoa, deputy director of the department, said the province has a dense network of rivers and canals and flood-prone areas in the upstream of the Tien River and the Dong Thap Muoi (Plain of Reeds) region for breeding high-value freshwater species.
Freshwater aquaculture provides work and income for farmers when there are no crops, he said.
The province has designated freshwater aquaculture areas, including rice-fish farming areas in Cai Be district, fish cages in the Tien River in My Tho city and Chau Thanh and Cai Lay district, and fish fry nurseries in the Dong Thap Muoi (Plain of Reeds) region.
It has a 68ha-site of fish bred under good agricultural practices (GAP) standards, including 6.4ha-site under Global GAP standards.
The province also has around 1,190 fish cages to breed mostly red tilapia in the Tien River.