According to a survey by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Tra Vinh province, in coastal districts such as Duyen Hai, Cau Ngang, Chau Thanh and Duyen Hai town, more than 4,000 hectares of forest are planted and protected by local people to combine with organic shrimp farming (extensive farming). This is a model that brings about sustainable effects and protects the environment in the context of climate change.
Currently, Tra Vinh has over 9,000 ha of forest, of which 5,120 ha was allocated to local people and organizations for protection. The remaining forest area was planted and managed by local people. The fact that people planted their own forests to develop a production model of combination of forest and shrimp production is less investment cost, while avoiding the risk of damage due to changes in weather, environment and diseases on shrimp.
Mr. Huynh Van Phong, Cay Da hamlet, Hiep Thanh commune, Duyen Hai town has implemented the model of forest - shrimp for more than 10 years on the area of 4 ha. Mr Phong said that with an area of 4 hectares, he spent 2 ha on planting forest trees such as mangrove, avicennia to create shade and shelter for shrimp and other aquatic species.
Each year he raises about 50,000 shrimp fingerlings and 6,000 sea crab fingerlings. In the whole process of raising aquatic species, he only spends money on fingerlings with no cost of food and economic efficiency brought on average 200 million VND per year. In addition, on the forest land, he also raised surf clam, granular ark to earn a few tens of millions more VND each year.
Pham Thi Hong Diem, Deputy Head of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Duyen Hai district, said that raising black tiger shrimp and white shrimp based on an industry model gains high profit. However, this model requires high stocking density, continuous raising time, large investment in technical infrastructure so the risk of water pollution, disease is very big.
At present, the fisheries sector of the province has not detailed planning and infrastructure investment in industrial shrimp farming, super-intensive shrimp farming, so about 70% of waste water from shrimp ponds directly discharged into canals without close management. Thus, it leads to high risks of disease outbreak.
Therefore, the forest-shrimp model is now considered as the most ideal production method. It is necessary to encourage people to develop the model when they do not have enough resources to invest in intensive shrimp farming, super-intensive shrimp farming. Duyen Hai district has more than 8,500 hectares of shrimp farming annually. At present, many households have changed to aquaculture combined with forests, which accounts for nearly 60% of the area.
The district Agriculture and Rural Development Department is preparing a plan to propose the District People's Committee and the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to support the development of the value chain of ecological shrimp products, helping people increase incomes to maintain the area of forest – shrimp production for both environmental protection and supplying market with clean shrimp.