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Local Economy

Last updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Towards Sustainable Shrimp-Rice Farming Rotation Model

Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Currently, the shrimp-rice farming rotation model is considered a sustainable shrimp farming processes, brings high economic value and helps improve the ecological environment. Soc Trang is known for being a typical shrimp-rice farming zone in the region.

Soc Trang is one of five largest shrimp-rice rotation farming regions in the country, mainly concentrated in Tran De, My Xuyen and Long Phu districts. In the past years, the rice - shrimp model has brought in high economic efficiency and contributed to improving living quality for coastal people.

A representative from the Soc Trang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said, the shrimp-rice model is highly sustainable due to less use of fertilisers and chemicals harmful natural environment and fitting to GAP standards. This model also helps diversify products such as brackish shrimp farming and prawn farming with rice and cash crops, helping increase production efficiency, farmers’ income and employment in Soc Trang province.

On the other hand, the shrimp-rice farming rotation model is a closed, mutually supportive model suitable in the current climate change conditions. It helps improve the fish farming environment as rice absorbs nutrients from mud, surplus feed and waste from shrimps. It also restricts shrimp disease outbreaks and balances animal and plant ecosystems. It also reduces production costs (especially rice cultivation) and adds incomes for farmers.

In fact, rice-shrimp farming model is proven sustainable and almost riskless. Soil becomes more fertile when it raises shrimps. It grows faster while it requires less fertilisers and pesticides because humus, organic residues, left feeds and shrimp wastes are good sources of nutrients for rice. In contrast, shrimps grow faster and stronger after a rice crop. Besides, expenses on rice cultivation on shrimp farming areas are equal to only 60-70 per cent of conventional paddy cultivation, resulting higher profit margin.

To help farmers develop a strong and effective shrimp-rice farming rotation model, the Soc Trang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development planned the local irrigation system for rice-shrimp farming rotation; supported support the transfer and application of science and technology to rice-shrimp farming, especially VietGAP and GlobalGAP-standard production; guided shrimp-rice farming in broader value chains; enhanced the control of quality of shrimp breeds and materials; and organised field trips to successful moderns for farmers to learn experience.

In addition, the Seeding Centre under the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has researched, crossbred, experimented and selected new rice varieties for salt-affected areas for rice-shrimp farming rotation in Tran De, My Xuyen and Long Phu districts since 2011. Particularly, salinity-resistant rice varieties are used for soil with a salinity ratio of below 3 ‰, including LP16, LP3, OM18, SH697, SH2187, OM232 and OM992; for soil with a salinity ratio of below 3.5 ‰, including OM193, OM8017, OM9605 and OM 5464; for soil with a salinity ratio of below 4‰, including OM6976, OM5629, OM6677, LP5, OM359 and MLT812.

Shrimp-rice farming rotation is a typical agricultural model of Soc Trang province and brings in higher economic value than rice-only farming. Because of higher economic value, this model has been strongly expanded beyond the plan and the existing infrastructure capacity like irrigation system in the province. To overcome these inadequacies, Soc Trang province pays much attention to planning shrimp-rice farming rotation areas. In response to the general fishery planning, Soc Trang province issued the Soc Trang fishery plan to 2020, with a vision to 2030 (Decision 690/QD-UBND dated July 1, 2014 promulgated by the Provincial People's Committee), the agricultural restructuring scheme (Project 04/DA-UBND of the Provincial People’s Committee dated June 15, 2014). Moreover, the agricultural sector has regularly supervised the execution of fisheries planning, directed relevant bodies to intensify planning supervision and recommended farmers not to develop this model at will but base on the approved planning.

Hoang Lam

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