Phu Dat Rat Market (An Giang) is the largest market for hamsters in the West. Small traders here slaughter 4-5 tons of live mice/per day to supply restaurants and restaurants inside and outside the province.
An Giang is a land that produces many unique markets such as the grass market, the insect market, and the “hell” fish market… In particular, it is impossible to miss the Phu Dat mouse market, which is known as the selling market. the largest field mouse in the Mekong Delta.
Phu Dat Mouse Market is located along the banks of Phu Dat canal in Binh Chanh hamlet, Binh Long commune, Chau Phu district, An Giang, more than 30km from the administrative center of the province. The telltale sign when coming to the rat market is a row of corrugated iron-roofed houses along the river, from the terrace to the house full of iron cages containing live rats.
This market has been associated with local people for a long time. No one knows exactly how long ago rat making, only remember that “rat village” has existed for many decades. The period 1995-2000 was a time of “prosperity”. At that time, all over the neighborhood, family, people all made mice to earn income.
Ms. Tran Kim Don (59 years old, living in Binh Chanh hamlet) with more than 20 years of experience in the profession said that in the past, farmers in Binh Chanh hamlet mainly cultivated rice. Because rice fields are often bitten by rats, in order to protect crops, people have to go to the fields to kill rats every day. Catching too much, can’t eat it all, so people make rat meat and bring it to the market to sell. This person learned from the other, soon formed the Phu Dat rat market, which has been maintained up to now.
“The rat market operates all year round, the busiest time is after Tet and lasts until the 6th lunar month. When the rooster crows in the market, people drive cars to sell rats to the barns and women like us. Then sharpen knives and scissors and wait for the rat to be slaughtered. Normally, around 3-4 pm, the job is done, but when it comes to the crop, sometimes the workday lasts until late at night,” said Mrs. Don.
Unlike other markets where there are men and women, the workers at the Phu Dat rat market are mostly women. The stages such as beating the mouse, peeling the skin, dissecting the abdomen, removing the intestines, preserving the ice… are all done by the ladies. Particularly, the stage of transporting rat meat to remove termites, weighing live rats will be taken care of by men.
Phan Thi My Chau (42 years old) shared, there are many types of rats in this market, each with different difficulty. In particular, the preliminary processing of rice rats is the simplest, and the most difficult is the rat rats because they are very aggressive, careless, they are easily bitten by rats, bleeding, and extremely painful.
“No one can stand the fishy and foul smell here on a new day, but because the job is close to home, the income is steady, so I also try to work on my stomach and do it for more than a dozen years now. Wages for making rat meat are hourly. , the price is 20,000 VND/hour. Every day I earn over 100,000 VND”, Ms. Chau said.
According to Chau, the mouse is small, but it takes a long time to work and is very hard. All day sitting in one place, hands soaked in water throughout, often eaten by water, sores. When it came time to return, the ratsmith had to wash and scrub many times to reduce the fishy smell.
Mr. Tran Thanh Nhu (trader in Long Xuyen city, An Giang) said that field mice are purchased from all over the western provinces and some traders buy them from across the border in Cambodia and bring them back and forth to make a profit at the price. 50,000 to 80,000 VND/kg (depending on size) and sold for 100,000-150,000 VND/kg after being cleaned and distributed in many provinces. Compared to the previous day, the output of field mice is now less because people reduce rice production.
Keyword: The largest rat market in the West gathering 5 tons a day is still not enough to sell