Vietnam to become world’s key shrimp producer

Vietnam is expected to become one of the world’s top shrimp producers thanks to its positive response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its modern shrimp farming models, according to industry insiders.

Robins McIntosh, Executive Vice President of the Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited, the largest integrated producer of aquaculture shrimp in the world, said shrimp production in the world grew 6-7 percent amid COVID-19 and disruptions to foodstuff supplies across the globe.

High demand in the long term may possibly prompt shrimp aquaculture to expand 10 percent, he added.

Regarding Vietnam’s shrimp sector, he said output has experienced stable growth through the years, from 5-10 percent annually, even 12 percent, due to radical changes in shrimp aquaculture technologies.

In recent years, high-tech shrimp farming models have been developed in the southern and Mekong Delta regions and have yielded higher profits for local farmers.

Under models that use intensive farming, the beds of shrimp breeding ponds are covered with plastic sheets and anti-sunlight nets are hung above. They are also equipped with oxygen-generating facilities.

According to Associate Professor Dr. Chau Tai Tao from Can Tho University, such models are popular in the Mekong Delta. Eighty percent of shrimp farming areas are set aside for wastewater treatment, so these models ensure good quality water for shrimp breeding.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said Vietnam is home to more than 200,000 ha of high-tech shrimp farming, 186,000 ha of which is in the Mekong Delta provinces of Bac Lieu and Soc Trang. The two localities have received large amounts of foreign capital for shrimp processing for export.

High-tech shrimp farming has a success rate of 90 percent and offers far higher profits than traditional shrimp breeding in mud ponds. And the fatality rate among shrimp bred under high-tech models is significantly lower than in traditional farming, local farmers said.

In recent times, Vietnam’s shrimp sector has spared no effort to improve its capacity, though it has had to struggle with COVID-19 and serious saline intrusion.

Chairman of the Soc Trang Provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Lau said that in a bid to have high-yield shrimp output, the province is applying advanced technologies in shrimp farming, promoting intensive farming, and forming value chains.

Soc Trang this year targets having 51,000 ha of shrimp breeding area and an output of 172,000 tonnes, Lau added.

Meanwhile, Bac Lieu province, which is striving to become a shrimp breeding hub in Vietnam, is investing in a three-phase electrical power system to serve semi-intensive and intensive shrimp farming areas, and instructing local farmers to apply advanced technologies in shrimp breeding to improve the competitive capacity of local shrimp.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Van Thieu said that, last year, the province bred shrimps on an area totalling nearly 130,000 ha, 9,000 ha of which were cultivated under semi-intensive and intensive farming models.

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