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Cà Mau Province, Super-Intensive Shrimp Farming, Environmental Problems


Cà Mau Province has about 857 hectares of super-intensive shrimp ponds, up from 175 hectares at the end of 2016, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.  Super-intensive shrimp farms stock more than 150 shrimp per square meter, three times more than traditional farms.  Their average output is 40-50 metric tons per hectare.  Some farms produce 80-100 metric tons per hectare!


Nguyễn Văn Tuần, a member of the Phú Thuận Commune in the province’s Phú Tân District, has 0.2 hectares of intensive shrimp ponds.  He said his family harvested about 18 tons of shrimp in three months, selling them for $7.00 a kilo and generating an income of $126,000!  He said, “However, this model required high investment costs,” adding that his family had to invest about $30,800 in the new technology.


The super-intensive ponds have greenhouse-like plastic covers and use two types of aerators.


The farmers and their cooperatives work with outside companies that supply the technology, financing, seedstock and equipment—and purchase the farmer’s harvest.  As of August 2017, Cà Mau had eight co-operatives that signed contracts with eight, different outside companies, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.



Environmental Problems


With an increasing number of super-intensive farms, Cà Mau faces the threat of environmental pollution because many of the farms do not meet the environmental standards set by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.  The farms do not have ponds for treating wastewater and release it directly into the environment.  In Phú Tân District, for instance, 64 farms do not meet the province’s environmental standards.  Similarly, Đầm Dơi District has 300 super-intensive farms, and 132 of them do not meet environmental standards.


Châu Công Bằng, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province is drafting environmental regulations for intensive and super-intensive shrimp farms.  Under the draft regulations, administrative fines for violations of the regulations could be $130 to $4,400, he said.


In the first nine months of 2017, using various farming methods, from extensive to super-intensive, Cà Mau Province produced 113,000 tons of shrimp, up 6.9 percent from the same period in 2016.


Source:  Business in Brief 23/10 (scroll down the page to) Cà Mau Dense Shrimp Farming Expanded.  October 23, 2017.


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