Farmers In Vietnam's Mekong Use Saline Land To Raise Shrimp And Plant Rice

Farmers In Vietnam’s Mekong Use Saline Land To Raise Shrimp And Plant Rice

Farmers in Vietnam’s Mekong use saline land to raise shrimp and plant rice. Farmer Trinh Hoang Cung several years ago did not think he would ever go to his rice fields by rowing a boat. He lives in Ca Mau province, in the southernmost area of ​​Vietnam. The first catch of the day was satisfying for the farmer. If people grow rice, people can also raise shrimp. Six months of raising shrimp in salt water, and another six months of growing rice in fresh water. This is what I do now, and it is very sustainable.

The change is caused by rising sea levels which encourage saltwater intrusion into the Mekong Delta. The water in his rice fields is now too salty to grow rice in the dry season. The solution is to turn the area into ponds for cultivating shrimp. Before the monsoon season arrives the area is dried, while waiting for fresh water to come to cultivate rice. Initially, many people got rich suddenly. But if farming becomes too intensive, people are forced to use pesticides and other things to treat their shrimp if they get sick. In this cooperative, the shrimp are larger.

The reason is that fewer shrimp are cultivated per square meter of pond, compared to conventional shrimp farms. Plus, farmers don’t need to feed the shrimp, but instead provide a yeast mixture that helps microorganisms grow normally and become shrimp food. This is an idea from the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ). Because we managed to achieve this with cooperatives, we were able to sign contracts with private parties. And through contracts with private parties, shrimp-rice production can be certified, and can be sold at a higher price. That’s 20% more than the regular price. Hoang Cung breeders spread yeast mixtures. Thanks to sustainable cultivation, breeders’ income has increased by around 30%. By 2030, the government hopes to double the number of livestock and rice-shrimp farms in the Mekong delta. Working as a civil servant means your income is certainly more certain.

If everything goes well, people can earn a decent income here, but if the pool has problems two or three times a year, people can struggle, because the income becomes very unstable. His children have said they don’t want to take over his farm. In the Mekong delta live about 17 million people, but more and more people are moving to cities. According to estimates, by the end of this century, up to 50% of the area will be flooded.