Translated by PreyNokor
Mr. Lam Van Linh
Mr. Lam came from a poor family background of 9 children. He only managed to complete grade two. At age 20, he received his share of family air loom of 3 Cong of farm land. The first year he grow vegetable in one Cong and rice in two Cong of land. After the first year, he stop ricing farming and begun to grow vegetables in all of his land.
“Due to the profits from growing the vegetables, and the money we were able to save, we slowly buy more land and grow even more vegetables. After 8 years of hard work, we were able to buy a total of 29 Cong of land” Mr. Lam told Bao Can Tho.
During all this time, he keep ahead by learning about new technology and farming methods.
From 1996 he began to grow two season rice, as well as growing vegetables. With the profit he made, in 2003 he were able to increase his farm to 45 Cong.
In 2003, he heard about prawn farming and begun to learn about it. He decided to venture into prawn farming by allocating 4 Cong for prawn ponds. The first year, the yeild was 3.7tonnes with a gross profit of 200 million VND (about USD 12,000). The second year he expanded his pond to 12 cong . By 2007, he have 10 ponds covering total area of 24 Cong. His yield grew to 24 tonnes with a gross profit of 920 millon VND (about USD 53,000).
This season alone, he had only just harvested 4 ponds with 4 tonns of prawn and a gross profit of 200 million VND. The remaining ponds shows promising sign of a good yield.
Mr. Lam Van Linh has become an example for his villagers. People often visit him to learn about his techniques, and he is not afraid to share it either.
“Prawn farming is very difficult, there are people who get rich, while others go bankrupt. That’s why we the farmers share what we know with each other. Any good technique that learn from my experiment, I’m prepared to share with others help minimize any loss.” said Mr. Lam.
Aquaculture is the second biggest export industry in the Mekong Delta behind rice. Yet majority of Khmer Krom remain the poorest amongst other ethnics in the region. According to some report, in 2008 prawn breeding profited only 45 per cent of households in Mekong Delta region.