|The shrimp-rice farming model gives people in Ca Mau a more stable income. (Photo: VOV)
Nguyen Thi Man of Khanh Thuan commune, Ca Mau province, has a 2ha rice-shrimp farm which brings in more than 2,500 USD per hectare per year.
Since she began raising a new species of giant river prawns, her income has increased to 3,400 USD per hectare. This year it could reach 3,800 USD per hectare.
“This year, the weather is favorable. Much rain has brought in much fresh water. As a result, farmers will have a bumper crop of both rice and shrimp,” said Man.
A model of intercropping giant river prawns in rice-shrimp fields was launched in U Minh district in 2020.
Now most of the 3,000 ha of rice-shrimp farms inthe district are using the model, whose advantage is that the rice is completely free of chemicals and fertilizers. The shrimp produced with this model have fewer diseases and firm, juicy meat.
The all-organic shrimp and rice are bought by businesses at a stable high price.
Farmers that have adopted the model enjoy an average yield of 450 to 500 kilos per hectare, doubling or tripling their profits.
In the past, when applying the rice-shrimp farming model, farmers relied on traditional production methods. In recent years, when the model has proved its economic benefits, farmers have studied new farming techniques that result in more sustainable production.
By changing their mindset and studying hard, farmers in Cái Nước district have earned an additional 840 USD per ha per year.
Mai Van Quoc, Director of the Quyet Tien Agriculture and Fisheries Service Cooperative in Thanh Phu commune, Cai Nuoc district, said that farmers taught how to remove salt and take care of the rice after sowing.
When the weather fluctuate, farmers know which technical measures best protect the crop, said Quoc, adding, “Under the shrimp-rice farming model, black tiger shrimp is raised during the dry season. During the rainy season, rice is grown with the black tiger shrimp, resulting in greter profits.”
|Raising black tiger shrimp in paddy fields gives farmers an additional income of 840 USD per hectare per year. (Photo: VOV)
Tran Van Thoi district has one of the most effective rice-shrimp models in Ca Mau province. Tri Luc commune is the highlight.
Last October, 500 hectares of black tiger shrimp intercropped on the rice land of the Tri Luc Rice-Shrimp Production Service Cooperative was awarded ASC Group International Certification by an independent global certification organization (Control Union) for responsibly farming seafood, minimizing adverse impacts on the environment, ecosystems, and community, and upholding good labor regulations.
The certification qualifies the shrimp for export to demanding global markets, said Chau Cong Bang, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“By 2025 at least 20% of Ca Mau’s shrimp-rice farming area will be internationally certified as EU Organic and ASC. By 2030, the province’s agriculture industry plans to have all of its shrimp-rice farming land internationally certified," said Bang.
Developing a circular economic model has made many Ca Mau people rich. Adopting the shrimp-rice farming model in Ca Mau has made farming more sustainable. Ca Mau’s administration will continue to replicate the model and farming techniques of raising giant river prawns in rice fields.