Southern salt workers earn their living under heat spells

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In the current heat spell in the southern region, the temperature on the salt fields these days may reach 40°C at noon. But this is the best time for salt workers in Bac Lieu, the largest salt field in the Mekong Delta, to earn their living.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

Bac Lieu has the largest salt producing area in the Mekong Delta, with 2,668 ha. These days, though it is scorching hot, salt workers still wish to have higher temperature so salt will crystallize more quickly.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

According to the local agriculture officials, this year salt workers can harvestL120,000-150,000 tons of salt, averaging 9-12 tons per hectare.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

Salt workers use this tool, called “cau” to separate salt.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

One of the heaviest tasks is pulling the “cau”.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

A “cau” is very heavy and only strong men can pull it under the sun.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

Salt is gathered into piles.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

And being put into baskets to transport to warehouses.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

Each salt basket weighs 30-40 kg.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

Transporting salt to warehouses is the hardest stage. Salt workers still transport salt by carrying baskets on their shoulders.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

Salt porters earn VND200,000-300,000/day ($10-15).

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Dong Hai district, the largest salt field in Bac Lieu, the salt purchase price is currently at VND35,000/30kg of white salt and VND18,000-20,000/30kg of black salt. At this price, salt workers can earn profit of VND15-20 million/ha.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells

High temperature will yield beautiful grains of salt.

salt workers, binh phuoc, salt fields, hot spells 

Most of the salt workers are men.

 

 

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