Mekong Delta shrimp-rice farming on rise


Neil Ray, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Bangkok

Published on
October 19, 2009

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta farmers are turning to a mix of rice and shrimp production to enhance their income and livelihood.

Alternating their shrimp and rice crops are benefiting Vietnamese farmers both financially and ecologically. Typically a family can earn around USD 2,400 (EUR 1,600) per hectare from shrimp ponds, which double as rice fields. The rice brings in another USD 1,100 (EUR 760) per hectare.

Among the ecological benefits are that the shrimp feed on the residual left from the rice, making for a healthier product with less reliance on manufactured feeds.

“The alternate shrimp-rice farming is a cleaner [practice],” said Dr. Mai Thanh Phung, director of the National Agriculture and Fishing Extension Centre.

Dr. Do Min Nhut, director of the Kien Giang Agriculture and Fisheries Centre, said the expansion of shrimp-rice farming in his province over the past few years has grow to a point where it’s the preferred option.

Soon the area used for shrimp-rice farming is likely to reach 100,000 hectares annually and 147,000 hectares by 2020, he said.

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