The combined rice paddy and fish pond farming model in Hau My Bac A commune, Cai Be district in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has proven effective, providing a stable source of income and helping local farmers adapt to floods.

Since 2011, Tien Giang has been implementing a five-year project to develop infrastructure for the model in Hau My Bac A, which is located at the head of the Tien River, a tributary of the Mekong River, Vice Chairman of the communal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Dung said.

He explained that the project aims to help farmers adapt their production to floods, adding that target localities are supported in building dyke and drainage systems, as well as dredging canals, and upgrading the traffic network.

According to Dung, farmers participating in the project grow rice during the winter-spring crop and raise freshwater fingerling on the same land for the rest of the year. Approximately 900 million juvenile fish are provided to target localities every year.

Au Van On, a local farmer, said his family grows rice on 2.4ha of farmland in the winter-spring crop and raises five or six broods of fingerling during the remaining months.

This livelihood strategy generates around 300 million VND (nearly 14,300 USD) a year, meaning he can pocket more than 200 million VND (over 9,500 USD) after deducting all expenses, he said.

Furthermore, the model has helped local residents minimise the use of fertilisers and pesticides in cultivating rice. Rotten hay, a by-product from rice cultivation, is later used as fodder for fish, thus reducing environmental pollution, said farmer Le Quoc Vu , who applies this model on one hectare of farmland and earns over 100 million VND (over 4,700 USD) in net profit a year.-VNA