Dong Thap Province to Net more Seafood

9:55:57 AM | 27/9/2005

Located on the bank of the Tien and Hau rivers, Dong Thap has great potential for developing aquaculture, replacing rice cultivation. According to experts, the production value of one hectare of water surface is much higher than that of rice cultivation. Therefore, in recent years, Dong Thap has concentrated on exploiting this potential, thus helping it restructure its economy.
Potential yet to be tapped fully
With a total area of over 70,000 hectares of water surfaces available for aquaculture, Dong Thap province has developed a project on aquaculture throughout 2010. Accordingly, the province has identified three main aquaculture areas. The first area consists of districts in the south of the Tien river, including Lai Vung, Lap Vo, Sa Dec and Chau Thanh. This area is capable of farming all kinds of seafood, especially macrobrachium rosenbergii (a species of shrimp). The second area consists of alluvial land in districts in the north of the Tien river. In this area, farmers have raised tra and basa catfish for a long time. The third area consists of land of the Plain of Reeds, which is suitable for farming fish during the flood season. Also, Dong Thap has more than 1,400 hectares of warps along the Tien and Hau rivers, of which 536 hectares have yet to be used. This is a potential Dong Thap will concentrate its investment in.
Over the past number of years, Dong Thap aquaculture has seen a high growth rate, boosting the development of the local processing industry. However, processing work is yet to become stable with many ups and downs in prices and supplies. Meanwhile, investment capital remains constrained as farmers do not have enough assets to mortgage their bank loans. Also, due to high risks, banks are reluctant to provide loans for aquaculture development. In addition, most farmers in Dong Thap lack information about the world market and have yet to access new technology. Their farming method remains outdated, which has led to a high production cost and poor effectiveness and quality of products.
Development solutions
Dong Thap will implement many solutions to exploit and use water surfaces effectively for a long-term commodity-based aquaculture production. According the province’s master plan for aquaculture until 2010, projects will be developed to farm tra catfish in warps and macrobrachium rosenbergii with rice in My An Hung B, Lap Vo district, and fresh water fish in Tam Nong district. The province will promote the implementation of a project on caged fish farming villages in Lap Vo district the reorganisation of caged fish farming villages in Hong Ngu district. The province will diversify its aquaculture production, farming seafood on warps with intensive and semi-intensive methods. Dong Thap will focus on farming products of high economic value, such as tra and basa catfish, red tilapia and shrimp. Dong Thap province will provide support for its seafood processing enterprises to develop concentrated material supply areas, supervising the development of clean technology to improve the quality of products to become competitive in the markets. The province will build feed producing plants for aquaculture. A seafood market will be put into trial operation in Sa Dec town to promote material consumption. The province will set up a credit fund for aquaculture to help local farmers overcome their financial difficulties. At the same time, a focus will be given to veterinary work and quality management, disease forecast, as well as seafood protection.
To implement these solutions, in the coming years, the fisheries service of Dong Thap will expand its aquaculture area to 5,600 hectares with 2,500 fish farming cages. It will opt for a high-tech farming method for tra catfish a breakthrough. The province will strive to produce over 191,250 tonnes, of which 171,250 tonnes from aquaculture, in 2010. Total seafood export turnover will reach US$100 million, up by US$75 million against 2000 with export value of tra and basa catfish accounting for between 90 and 95 per cent.
Hoa Binh