Situation in the two southernmost provinces
The Research Institute for Aquaculture II (RIA II) conducted a survey of 35 shrimp-forest farms in Ca Mau province and 36 farms in Bac Lieu province at the end of 2017, showing that each farm has an area of 4 - 7 ha. On average, forest area accounts for 51% of the farm area, the rest is shrimp farming. Most farms are established and owned by families, of which 35% of workers are illiterate, 46% are at primary level, the remaining are at secondary and high-school level, no college or university level.
According an investigation of 230 shrimp-forest farmers in 2016 conducted by Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tung and Phan Van Ta, it is noting that in the mangrove forest, black tiger prawn accounts the major part; in addition with crabs, fish, blood cockles. In average, in one year, farmer can stock 5 batches of shrimp, with a density of 4 shrimp / m2, about 4 months after stocking, shrimp can be harvested, the average yield is 222 kg / ha for the whole year, sizes from 13-45 shrimp / kg. For crab, it can be stocked 4 times a year, time for raising crab is longer than shrimps’ and harvesting yield per year on an average of 100 kg / ha, sizes 2-5 crab / kg. In the breeding process, 98.3% of households did not use chemical drugs. They mainly use lime to prepare ponds, and 4.3% of farmers use probiotics.
For shrimp-forest farms, family members’ labor costs did not been accounted for production costs, so the profits are quite high. A household on average earns VND 77 million a year and due to low investment, the number of losses is only a small proportion. In general, for each hectare per year, the highest profit is to VND 80 million, and the highest loss is VND 9.3.
Deputy Director of the RIA II Phan Thanh Lam assessed that shrimp-forest productivity now does not exceed 250 kg / ha is still low this model is not stable as there are still households who suffer from losses. There are three main reasons that limit the economic efficiency of shrimps-forests like low quality seed (shrimp mortality rate of over 95%), water quality and disease management are not satisfactory. Investment in shrimp-forests, from infrastructure to farming skills, has not been given adequate attention, farmers still culture shrimp by their experience while their education level is low.
Shrimp advantage in the market
Black tiger shrimp products are always appreciated in the world market, especially in big markets such as China, Japan, USA, Australia, Dubai, Singapore,etc. demand for this item has been stable for the past 20 years. In particular, ecological certification systems associated with mangrove forests such as ASC, Naturland, Bio Suisse, Selva Shrimp are favored and have a 20-30% higher export price than conventional shrimp. Since 2000, Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces have focused on developing shrimp-forest model, until now there are nearly 200 hectares of ASC certification in these two provinces.
In 2017, the area of shrimp-forest in the Mekong Delta region is nearly 200,000 ha, accounting the largest area compared to other types of farming such as improved extensive, shrimp-rice, semi-intensive and intensive farming. In Ca Mau province, only the water surface for shrimp farming is nearly 40,000 ha, it means the area of shrimp-forest is nearly 80,000 ha because the water surface only accounts for 49% of toal area. In Bac Lieu province, the water surface for shrimp farming is 6,526 ha. In Ca Mau province, shrimp-forest is concentrated in Ngoc Hien district with 22,875 ha, Nam Can 7.625 ha; Phu Tan and Dam Doi with 4,000-5,000 ha in each district.
Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces had surveyed and set up resource maps to provide data on area of shrimp-forest (area of forest and area without forest to develop shrimp farming with afforestation, excluding special-use forests and other forest areas). In which, Ca Mau has 82,000 ha (forest area of 42,500ha and aquaculture of 39,500ha); Bac Lieu province has 6,526ha.
Shrimp-forest products are proving potential advantages in the context of climate change and sea level rise. If the sea level rises by 100 cm, Ca Mau province has 57.7% of the area being submerged (the heaviest affected area is Tran Van Thoi district with 90.02%, Cai Nuoc district with 87.62%); In Bac Lieu province, 48.6% of the area was flooded (Hong Dan district was 90.78% and Phuoc Long district was 73.45%). Products of black tiger shrimp associated with mangroves achieve international certificates are more and more popular in the market in the trend of increasing demand for organic products.
Moreover, shrimp-forest is a shrimp farming method associated with forest protection and mangrove planting, with an interest in the growth of green carbon resources in line with the development trend in the world. As shrimp-forest scale is expanded with positive changes such as ensuring a forest percentage of at least 60% to 40% of the shrimp farming area, the area of mangroves has increased.
Suitable for green growth
According to FAO, Vietnam reduced the annual forest area by 0.1% in the period of 2000-2005, and so far the average rate is 1.4%, a high rate compared to the world’s. According to experts, after 20 years if our country has no impact, the area of mangroves will decrease by 2,036 hectares, inefficient management will reduce the area of mangroves by 10%. At that time, the emissions is estimated at 2.7 tons of CO2 -e / ha / year and the emission source from changing forest land use purpose to aquaculture accounted for 92%, the remaining from other inter-related activities..
If the shrimp-forest development objective is achieved only in Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces with 88,526 ha, under the proportion of forest accounting for 60%, there are 45,763 ha of forest. At that time, experts calculate that emissions will decrease by 7.3 million tons CO2-e / ha / year. Meanwhile, aquaculture production will reach 21,956 tons, worth VND 3,794 billion. After 20 years, striving to reach the minimum forest rate of about 70% of the area, the sustainability effectiveness is even greater.
“That is the goal of shrimp-forest development in line with green carbon growth and green growth. From the results of shrimp-forest in the past time, it needs to expand the scale, increase production efficiency, create stable livelihoods for a large number of people, shape future sustainable development ", Deputy General Director of the Directorate of Fisheries Tran Dinh Luan said.
The main obstacles to shrimp-forest expansion at present, according to the RIA II, are how to improve shrimp productivity, develop certified shrimp chain to contribute to increase income, thereby generating forest development and coastal economy. A project funded by FAO, implemented from July 2017 to September 2018, has proposed a separate policy and mechanism for shrimp-forest development. Accordingly, the policy focuses on financial investment, construction of collaborative / cooperative, complete infrastructure, trade promotion for shrimp-forests and support scientific research. Regarding policies to support scientific research, the focus is on improving the quality and productivity of forest shrimps, applying IT 4.0 technology to integrate with GIS in managing shrimp-producing areas, based on GIS.
“From the results of this study, it is recommended that the management agencies would integrate the management of shrimp-forest development in accordance with green growth”, Mr. Luan emphasize.
Huong Tra (source:nongnghiep.vn)