Farmers in the southern province of Dong Nai have been warned not to raise crocodile supplies despite a recent hike in selling prices. They are recommended to map out raising and selling plans carefully before investing in the trade to avoid losses.

At present, the price of crocodiles in Dong Nai province is twice as much as the same time last year. Many big crocodile farms like the one owned by Nguyễn Thị Thủy are delaying sales to wait for higher prices.

Nguyen Thi Thuy, a crocodile breeder in Dinh Quan district, Dong Nai province: "Each kilo of crocodile now can be sold at 6.6 USD. But I still keep them for a couple of months. The price will not be lower since most of them have been sold already."

Thanks to the increasing prices, many crocodile breeders in Dong Nai are expected to earn up to 1 billion VND (equivalent to 44,000 USD).

However, just months ago, many farmers had to barter away their crocodiles and shut down farms due to high supply and low demand.

Nguyen Van Chieu, Deputy Director of Forest Ranger Department, Dinh Quan district: "More than 10 local households have registered to raise crocodiles this year. Some households that halted their operation due to losses in 2016 and 2017. Since the price of crocodile is rising high, more animals will be raised this year."

Experts say it takes two years for a young crocodile to grow big enough for sale. But who knows what the price will be by then. In the meantime, most crocodiles are sold through border trade.

Experts said farmers should be cautious in investing in raising more crocodiles for fear that they may suffer losses because of bumper crops.

The situation happened to farmers in Vietnam when their watermelon, purple onion, chilli and pumpkin went unsold due to oversupply, caused by poor master planning and marketing.

There are approximately 168,000 crocodiles being raised at 315 farms in the province. But few of the farms are qualified to export the animals officially. Moreover, there are no crocodile skin processing facilities in the locality.

Le Viet Dung, Deputy Director of Forest Protection Department, Dong Nai province: "Farmers depend on foreign traders. There is also no sustainable consumption network."

Crocodile breeding has existed in Dong Nai for almost three decades, but mostly on a small scale. Experts say breeding must be monitored carefully to avoid massive losses due to poor planning and marketing.-VNA