Vietnamese crocodile farms are currently in the midst of a major economic decline. Facing both disease and weakening markets, many crocodile farms in Southeast Asia are going out of business.
Commercial crocodile farming is a relatively new phenomenon. While crocodiles and alligators have been used for their meat and skins throughout human history, the large-scale commercial farming of them for these products took off in the 1960s.
Crocodile farming occurs across the globe. In the United States, alligators and crocodiles are raised to make leather products. In other parts of the world as well, crocodile leather is a valuable commodity, as is crocodile meat, which can serve as an important nutritional supplement.
Some countries have seen a recent growth in crocodile farming as farmers look to supplement dwindling incomes. Kenya, for example, has seen a movement to relax restrictions on crocodile farms as Kenyans hope to increase their revenue through the sale of the reptiles’ skin.
However, some countries are experiencing a major decline in crocodile farms. Vietnam, for example, has seen a recent wave of disease wipe out many animals. Some farms in the Mekong Delta have lost nearly half of their animals, a loss that could reach the tens of thousands of dollars for each farm.
In addition to disease, the price of crocodile skin and meat has been steadily dropping, declining by as much as 20 percent over the last year.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer