Smartphone-Powered Aquaculture Triumphs Over Adverse Weather: Farmers in Vinh Phuc, Viet Nam Find Success Amidst Challenges

Ao tôm
Shrimp pond

Despite the unpredictable weather throughout the year, many farmers in Vinh Phuc province still effectively raise fish by applying sensor systems and automatic control devices through smartphones. They take care of the fish conveniently, ensuring rapid growth, achieving high weight, and making it easy to sell with a decent profit.

Healthy Fish, Easy Sales, and Enthusiastic Farmers

Last week, Mr. Tran Duy Thao in Binh Dinh commune, Yen Lac district (Vinh Phuc province), harvested and sold nearly 20 tons of fish at an average price of around 44,000 VND/kg. According to Mr. Thao, compared to previous years, the price of fish this year is higher and easier to sell.

In the last crop, Mr. Thao’s family stocked about ten thousand fish juvenile, including tilapia, catfish, and carp, using imported pellet feed and supplementing with naturally grown grass at home. The notable difference is that since 2022, Mr. Thao’s family has received support from the Vinh Phuc Aquaculture Extension Center, which helped install a sensor system to control the water environment in the fish ponds.

Farmext appMr. Dao Duy Thao, the owner of three fish ponds covering 1.5 hectares in Binh Dinh commune, Yen Lac district, Vinh Phuc uses a smartphone to take care of the fish in his family’s farm. Source: DanViet

This system can also control peripheral devices such as paddle wheel for aeration, water pumps, automatic feeding machines, etc. The system is integrated with the Farmext application (software provided by Tep Bac Company in Ho Chi Minh City), and users only need to download and follow simple registration steps to use their mobile phones to monitor and control peripheral devices.

Mr. Thao highlighted that in the initial stages of installation, his family faced apprehensions as they grappled with the difficulty of breaking away from entrenched habits and traditions. However, with the installation of digital devices and the dedicated support and supervision from Tepbac technicans, he has become proficient in using the Farmext app and found it more effective.

"When we installed the new equipment, we received a lot of support in terms of equipment prices, feed, seed, paddle wheel, etc. Farmers only had to pay about 50%, equivalent to around 40 million VND ($ 1.640) to own a Farmext IOTs equipment set including a smart control cabinet, an environmental envisor and a smart feeding machine " said Mr. Thao, adding that since the 2022 fish season, after deducting all costs, they have made a profit. In the current fish season, the family earned approximately nearly 1 billion VND ($ 41k), pocketing a few hundred million VND after deducting expenses.

According to Mr. Thao, compared to previous years, the weather in 2023 was more intense and unpredictable. Fish farmers are often easily affected, and sometimes even suffer losses due to the susceptibility of fish to diseases and high mortality.

"Since we installed the sensor system and automatic devices from Tep Bac Company, the automated devices measure water parameters promptly and effectively. When there are changes in water temperature or pH, the system will automatically send notifications to the phone and quickly operate the paddle wheel to cool water, ensuring the fish are always healthy, strong, and grow rapidly," revealed Mr. Thao.

More support in hope

After harvesting fish for a week, Mr. Thao stocked a new batch of fish, with a quantity twice as much as in 2023. The majority includes tilapia, carp, and catfish.

Mr. Thao explained: In the traditional farming method, after harvesting, people had to drain the pond to the bottom, apply lime, dry the pond, and treat it with chemicals for about a month before refilling it with water and stocking the juvenile. However, nowadays, farmers adopting modern technology no longer need to drain the water. They only need to treat it with microbial products for a week before start the next crop. Taking care of them through an automated system allowing for a quicker turnover in the new culture cycle.

PondWith the sensor system controlling the water environment, Mr. Thao’s family ensures that the fish ponds are always clean, guaranteeing an effective freshwater fish farming operation. Source: DanViet

Despite the severe cold weather in Northern Vietnam at this time, Mr. Thao remains confident in keeping the new fish healthy. Sharing with reporters, Mr. Thao revealed, "We regularly monitor the weather to adjust the care regime and keep the fish warm. For instance, when the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius, we pump well water to the bottom and balance the pond water at a depth of about 2 meters. Additionally, we release straw and water hyacinth in the corner of the pond to provide a warm shelter for the fish."

Regarding feeding, he also adjusts the amount, stating, "Under normal conditions, if two ponds of fish consume 7-8 bags of feed per day, now we only give them 1 bag (25kg) and supplement with a little more grass to ensure sufficient nutrients during the winter."

Despite frequent and sudden temperature changes, thanks to the installed sensor system that can automatically control the water environment, Mr. Thao’s fish consistently develop steadily and increase productivity as desired.

"My pond-raised fish are always firm, muscular, and lengthy. The tilapia usually weighs between 3 and just under 4 kg, which is highly favored by customers. We receive many orders, so we never worry about sitting unsold," proudly stated Mr. Thao.

Speaking with reporters, Mr. Thao mentioned that the current sensor system and automatic feeding devices are still very effective for fish farmers. He hopes that the Vinh Phuc Aquaculture Extension Center and Tep Bac Company will continue to support and expand the project so that many fish farmers, both within and outside the province, can benefit.

"In today’s era, we cannot stick to traditional farming methods indefinitely. People need to actively apply new technologies to increase productivity and the value of their products. Therefore, the application of sensor systems and automatic control in Vinh Phuc is the right and effective direction," affirmed Mr. Thao.

By Huỳnh Nguyễn Nguyên Hạ | Source: | Last updated on: February 02, 2024