Agricultural staff in Hong Dan District check fields where rice and shrimp are cultivated in a rotation model that has brought high profits to farmers (Photo: VNA)

Bac Lieu (VNA) - Farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu have had bumper harvests of paddy rice and shrimp with higher profits and yields than in previous years.

Farmers who take part in the rice/shrimp rotation model on the same field have also seen fewer outbreaks of disease.

Luong Ngoc Lan, head of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the 2016-17 rice/shrimp rotation crop covered more than 31,000 ha, an increase of more than 10,000 ha compared to the last crop.

The harvest, which ends in mid-February, is expected to bring profits of 50 million VND (2,202 USD) per ha, he added.

The rice/shrimp rotation model uses no chemicals or fertilisers for paddy rice, while shrimp are not fed, which saves costs.

Lan said that safe and clean shrimp and rice would sell easily as they are favoured by customers

Mai Van Thiet of the province’s Hong Dan district, who has expanded his field to two hectares, said that he had received training in modern cultivation techniques, including shrimp breeding and selection of seeds for paddy rice.

Irrigation systems have also been built in the fields.

Last year, the result was a good harvest, leading to profit of more than 250 million VND (11,013 USD) from two crops of shrimp and one for paddy rice, Thiet said.

Tang Van Dinh of the province’s Phuoc Long district , who had a bumper harvest of shrimp, operates a farm that covers more than one hectare, generating profit of more than 20 million VND (879 USD).

Pham Thanh Hai, chairman of Phuoc Long district People’s Committee, said his district had more than 9,000 hectares for rotating rice-shrimp, an increase of more than 2,000 ha compared to the last crop.

Shrimp production was nearly 0.2 tonne per ha and nearly five tonnes per ha for paddy rice, he said.

He expects profit of more than 50 million VND per hectare for shrimp and paddy rice, double compared to rice monoculture in the past.

By 2020, the province aims to expand rice-shrimp farming to 40,000 ha, mostly in Hong Dan and Phuoc Long districts and Gia Rai town.-VNA