September 30, 2011
Vietnamese farmers requested to stop baby shrimp breeding
Vietnam farmers were asked by the authorities of Tien Giang and Ben Tre to stop the breeding of baby shrimps for the time being to prevent any diseases from being transmitted.
Trinh Ngoc Minh, deputy head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Tien Giang, believes that delaying the breeding of a new school of shrimps will slash the chances of any spread of disease.
Tien Giang's People's Committee is targeting organisations and farmers that grow white-legged and tiger shrimps. Authorities want farmers to stop putting baby shrimps into breeding tanks to allow time to clean the tanks and kill any viruses before the upcoming harvest that will run from October 1, 2011 to January 15, 2012.
The farmers in districts Go Cong Dong and Tan Phu Dong of Tien Giang province breed shrimp across 1,200 hectares of farmland and bring in lofty profits. Regardless, the government does not want farmers to open additional farms.
In Ben Tre province, the People's Committee has also required that shrimp farmers push back the breeding of both kinds of shrimp for the next harvest until the administration issues new orders.
Ben Tre authorities noted that bad weather is not conducive for shrimp breeding because such conditions make the species more susceptible to and likely to spread the disease.
The government has asked related agencies to raise farmers' awareness across the region and make sure they abide by the rules.
Meanwhile, shrimp prices in Tra Vinh Province have fallen despite the shortage. Local farmers and officials think there may be foul play on the part of shrimp dealers and processors.
Prices have dropped by VND15, 000-VND20,000 (US$0.72-US$0.96) a kg from early August, according to local farmers.
As well as authorities they said that shrimp dealers and processing factories are buying shrimp there at prices lower than in nearby provinces by between VND5,000 (US$0.24) and VND10,000 (US$0.48) a kg.
Duong Tan Dom, official from Cau Ngang District Agriculture and Rural Development office, said that as the district's farmers have harvested 7,500 tonnes of shrimp this season, they are going to lose ten billion of dongs in profits.
In Soc Trang province, the shrimp industry is facing other problems; a disease outbreak was announced last week. It appears on shrimp bred between 20 and 35 days and caused necrosis to the shrimp's liver and pancreas.
Provincial agriculture authorities have since required the testing of any shrimp before it can be transported to and from the province.
The lower production of raw shrimp due to disease outbreaks in black tiger shrimp has driven many farmers to switch to whiteleg shrimp (vannamei), a move which is mitigating the shortage of raw materials. Vannamei has a better source of seed, high disease resistance and a plentiful output.