Vietnam looks for shrimp farming to save the Mekong Delta

About 700 000 hectares of rice and other agriculture crops in Vietnam were destroyed by climate-induced natural disasters in 2016, reports the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Vietnam looks for shrimp farming to save the Mekong Delta, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam reaking news



Consequently, rice production, which was hit the hardest, fell by some 800,000 tons, which has forced the Ministry to fast track implementation of remedial climate change adaption measures.

Under one initiative, rice cultivation in several Mekong Delta provinces has been converted to growing fruit trees and grapes that require less water yet provide suitable alternative sources of income for farmers.

Vietnam is the third largest exporter of rice, behind India and Thailand. Nicknamed the ‘rice bowl’, the Mekong Delta region comprises 12% of the arable land of the country and is responsible for nearly 50% of the rice production.

This past paddy season, the culprit was salt water intruding upstream from the coast, said Mekong wetlands ecologist Nguyen Huu Thien.

In turn, he places the blame squarely on dams that have been constructed at locations in Laos and Cambodia that are blocking the free flow of water and sediment, which allows for saltwater to make its way in the opposite direction the waters of the river naturally flow.

Last year, a severe drought in much of Southeast Asia compounded the problem.

In May, the Vietnam government observed the Mekong River at its lowest level since 1926, but eventually successfully convinced China to release water from its upstream dams, which helped to alleviate some of the problem.

The Ministry has also helped other farmers migrate elsewhere in the country where they can earn a living and, as part of their main initiative, assisted many rice farmers to experiment with saltwater shrimp farms in lieu of growing rice.

The Mekong Delta is gradually losing the capacity to support the populace, say Ministry spokespersons and it will fall apart if a corrective action plan isn’t put in place to address the fundamental problems post haste.

Shrimp farming appears to be the best alternative but even the farming of shrimp, a salt-tolerant creature, can be challenged by excessively salty conditions.

However, Ministry spokespersons say some of the challenges facing shrimp farming in the Mekong are being addressed by using a three-pond shrimp and fish farming strategy, in which one pond holds fresh water that is used to dilute water in the other two ponds when they become too salty.

Research is also underway to find the most suitable commercial shrimp species to raise and to identify synergies in the processes that may benefit shrimp production in the Mekong Delta.

Many Vietnamese and global organizations, say Ministry spokespersons, are supporting these efforts and others intended to help sustain food production in the Mekong.

Shrimp farming seems to be a win-win situation for all involved. The farmer in the Mekong can earn more money with it than rice and the consumer in the main importing regions of the EU, US and Japan, can eat healthier shrimp.

Shrimp farms can also play a role in ensuring the future of the Mekong Delta. Even when the saltwater rises.

VOV

Vietnam looks for shrimp farming to save the Mekong Delta, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam reaking news
 
*
*
*
  Send