In-pond raceway system (IPRS) technology was introduced in both southern and northern Vietnam in 2016, attracting much attention to freshwater fish farms in northern Vietnam. To date, there have been over 100 cells already constructed in Hải Dương, Hưng Yên, Bắc Ninh, Hà Nội, Bắc Giang, Thanh Hóa, and Nghệ An provinces.
USSEC organized tours for Vietnamese farmers to visit Shanghai and Jiangsu China in 2015 and 2016. However, many Vietnamese farmers were not applying IPRS as the whole technology package, and many had constructed their IPRS incorrectly due to lack of experience. In 2017, the Missouri Soybean Association sponsored a project suggested by USSEC to construct a Gold Standard IPRS in Vietnam. This helped Vietnamese farmers easily access how to construct and operate IPRS in Vietnamese conditions.
In March 2017, USSEC Vietnam Technical Manager Võ Hoàng Nguyên, together with USSEC consultant and IPRS expert Dr. Jesse Chappell, visited different sites in Hải Dương, Hưng Yên, Thanh Hóa, and Bắc Giang provinces to select an appropriate location and reliable farm cooperator to construct a Gold Standard IPRS with following criteria:
- Accessibility: a location that farmers can easily access with suitable conference facilities
- Technical requirements: a location where IPRS technical requirements can be adapted – water depth, electricity, farm equipment, and targeted species
- People: Opinion leader, dependable, honest, unbiased, friendly, public spirited, open to learn, and ready to share
Lê Văn Việt was determined to be the most reliable cooperator to contribute to the Gold Standard IPRS in Hải Dương province for training and demonstration purposes. A standard pond size of 1 ha large and 2 meters deep was used to construct an IPRS raceway with 2 cells of 25 x 5 x 2 m. With technical advice from USSEC, construction was finished in December 2017. It was ready to stock fish in February 2018 (after Tết holidays in Vietnam).
A feeding demonstration in grass carp had been conducted to demonstrate the USSEC feed-based IPRS methodology protocols for grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Pellet feed used in this project was USSEC-formulated feed with U.S. Soy products (soybean meal and soy lecithin) manufactured by Cargill Hưng Yên, a feed company that had heavily contributed to USSEC’s IPRS program in northern Vietnam.
Vietnamese farmers can visit the Gold Standard IPRS to learn IPRS application in details and practical way. This site is a good farm facility to demonstrate the performance of U.S. Soy products in Vietnamese IPRS farming conditions.