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Improving the sustainability of rice-shrimp farming systems in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

This project aims to increase yields and profitability of rice-shrimp production systems, particularly of new designs, in the Mekong Delta and ensure these systems can adapt to environmental change's effect on pond soil and water quality.
The Mekong Delta is the most important rice-producing region in Vietnam, and more than half the annual rice crop is produced there. Shrimp is the region's most valuable commodity, and produces about 40% of the country's earnings from seafood.
Increasing salinity, as a result of changing environmental conditions and riverine and tidal flow regulation, has led to regular rice crop losses and reduced yields in the formerly productive wet season. Recurrent disease outbreaks exacerbated by stocking of poor-quality post-larvae and declining pond soil and water quality have affected shrimp yields.
The project tests a re-designed rice-shrimp farming system and new varieties of salt-resistant rice. The project also investigates the sustainability of rice-shrimp production systems, including factors that enhance or constrain the productivity of new rice-shrimp farming systems. The research will enable the farming system to be scientifically modified to increase profitability and promote sustainable practices.