Better Management Practices Progress in Vietnam
A Network of Aquaculture Centers spent a week in Vietnam recently to complete its second evaluation to create a reliable data for the industry. During the inspection, the team tested survey questions designed on its previous evaluation trip in May. The data will be used to implement a program called "Development of Better Management Practices for Catfish Aquaculture in the Mekong Delta."
Simon Wilkinson, communication manager of the Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia Pacific, one of the organizations pioneering the program, reported that they had in-depth discussions about catfish farming and its future with farmers. They also discussed the future of Better Management Practices program with local authorities.
Vietnam's catfish farming industry is familiar with the requirements necessary to compete in the global market, which is the highlight of the sustainability program, added Wilkinson.
In Vinh Long province, the team witnessed a negotiation between local farmers and a representative from retail giant Tesco Lotus.
Evaluation is the first stage of the program. Data generated will be used to design custom guidelines and skill trainings on all aspects of catfish farming, from breeding and hatching to grow-out and stock management. Training will be done locally as well as in Thailand and Australia. The team expects to complete evaluations in early August and publish its report in September. The results will be presented at a national workshop and implemented at participating farms early next year.
Funded by AusAID with participation from the Research Institute for Agriculture No. 2 and Can Tho University's College of Aquaculture and Fisheries in Vietnam, the research program is important for catfish farming in the Mekong Delta. Although it's controlled by small-scale farmers, Mekong production in 2010 is estimated to reach 1 million tons worth more than U.S.$1 billion in export income.