Ca Mau farmers regularly dredge their ponds but there is not any place for dumping the mud. (Source: sggp.org.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau has established its first ever “soil bank”, also the first of its kind in the Mekong Delta, according to the government’s e-newspaper at baochinhphu.vn.

The move is prompted by the fact that local farmers have to dredge their shrimp ponds every year but there is not any place for them to dump the mud. With 290,000 ha of water surface for aquaculture, the volume of mud dredged up is quite huge.

Some farmers dumped the mud into local canals and rivers, blocking the water flow.

In addition, the dredging of irrigation networks also adds to the problem.

At the same time, there is great demand for sand and soil to be used in construction work in the province, as the province is shoring up its sea dyke systems and building settlement areas to relocate residents from areas threatened by coastal erosion.

The soil bank can be a solution to both questions.

Ca Mau has zoned 11 ha of land in Tran Thoi commune of Cai Nuoc district and allocated 20 billion VND to establish the special “bank”.

Deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development To Quoc Nam told the Sai Gon Giai phong newspaper that work is underway to build infrastructure for the soil bank. When completed, sand and mud dredged up at sites in the province will be transported there for storage and distribution to construction sites.  

According to Nam, the province is collaborating with universities and research institutes to research materials replacing sand used in construction, as sand resources are gradually depleted.

The official said Ca Mau learnt the soil bank model from the Netherland. He added that if the first soil bank proves to be successful, it will be multiplied in the province.-VNA