As flood is nothing strange to people in the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam, local farmers will look forward to the post-flooding season, when floodwaters go down, leaving behind a wide variety of valuable aquatic resources.
These days, people in An Giang Province are busy harvesting those ‘gifts’ brought by the flood season, which are also a source of income that significantly improves their standards of living.
In the province’s Chau Doc City, farmers flocked to Vinh Te Canal to catch fish as floodwaters receded.
As the area experienced severer floods this year, the amount of natural aquatic resources was also 10-15 percent higher, making farmers very happy, according to Lu Cam Khuong, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
However, the supply surplus has also resulted in lower prices for the aquatic products, according to local fishermen.
For instance, while tinfoil barb cost as much as VND70,000 (US$3) a kg last month, the fish now sells for only VND20,000 ($0.86) to VND25,000 ($1.07) a kg.
Fishermen have therefore decided to keep the fish to make fish sauce needed for next year’s traditional celebrations instead of selling them.
|Farmers are seen with water lilies in An Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Another valuable resource brought to the Mekong Delta by floods is the water lily.
Farmers will collect the aquatic plant to sell, making up to VND200,000 ($8.6) a day.
One of the specialties of the delta, water lilies can either be eaten as salad or served with certain hotpot dishes.
Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on or emerging from the surface.
What is special about water lilies in the Mekong Delta is that the higher the flood level is, the higher the plant will grow.
“And people just happen to prefer longer water lilies,” said Nguyen Thi Loan, a 37-year-old farmer who sells water lilies to make a living during the after-flood season.
|A woman carries water lilies for sale in An Giang Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre|