Vietnamese Goods Agriculture (VietGAP) Practices will be used to breed Asian redtail catfish in Hong NguDistrict in Dong Thap Province.


The location of the district in the Cuu Long (Mekong) delta's upstream area has advantages for l catfish breeding on the Tien River, a tributary of the Mekong River.

Nguyen Van Buon, deputy head of the district's Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau, said farmers and fish nurseries would receive support to produce redtail catfish fries under VietGAP.

The main aim

The aim is to increase fish quality in order to expand domestic and export sales. Many farmers in Hong Ngu have earned high profits from raising the catfish in cages. The fish is in high demand at local restaurants.

Truong Van Dien, director of the Fisheries Co-operatives in Hong Ngu'sPhuNhuan B Commune, said he earned a profit of more than VND900 million (US$41,000) a year from breeding the fish in cages.

In 2000, Dien began raising various kinds of fish, including tra fish, red tilapia and redtail catfish, later switching to breed only Asian redtail catfish.

"At that time [2006], there were few male and female parent Asian redtail catfish. I had to ask a friend in Cambodia to help me buy 80 breeding fish," he said.

Dien now supplies about 1 billion Asian redtail catfish fries annually to farmers in Dong Thap and neighbouring provinces of An Giang, Vinh Long and Can Tho City.

In Hong Ngu District, Asian redtail catfish is raised mostly in Long Thuan, PhuThuan A, PhuThuan B and ThuongPhuoc 1 communes, with annual total output of 500 tonnes, according to the district's Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau.

In Long PhuThuan Islet, which comprises Long Thuan, PhuThuan A and PhuThuan B communes, the number of Asian redtail catfish cages has increased from a few to more than 200 cages.

Huynh Van Son, who breeds two cages of Asian redtail catfish in PhuThuan B Commune, said the profit was VND30,000-40,000 ($1.4 -1.9) a kilo higher than profits from breeding red tilapia.

The price of Asian redtail catfish is between VND60,000 -100,000 ($2.8 - 4.7) a kilo, according to farmers. Asian redtail catfish fries can reach a weight of 2 kilo within 14 months.