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Cold Storage: Viet Nam's Big Problem

VIET NAM - Enterprises have been aware of the importance of having big capacity cold storages, but the problem is investment capital.

Ngo Phuoc Hau, Chairman and General Director of Agifish, said that aquaculture is the big advantage of the seafood industry, while the lack of cold storage is the big disadvantage of the industry.

Hau has pointed out that none of the current 100 seafood processing companies have large cold storage spaces. Even the Binh An Seafood Processing Workshop in Can Tho city, which has the high processing capacity of 300 tonnes, only has cold storage for 2,500 tonnes.

Vo Thanh Khon, production manager of the company, said that the company is planning to build another 5,000 tonne cold storage, raising the total capacity to 7,500 tonnes.

Hau said that Agifish is planning to build a 10,000 tonne cold storage at Vam Cong port in the Cuu Long River Delta. In the near future, Cuu Long River Delta needs a cold storage system with the capacity of up to 1mil tonnes or more.

Enterprises have been aware of the importance of having big capacity cold storages, but the problem is investment capital. Experts said that it takes some VND1.5-2mil to have a standard cold (- 18oC) storage able to store 10,000 tonnes of product. Meanwhile, currently, in the Cuu Long River Delta, there are very few big cold storages with the capacity of 10,000 tonnes, let alone bigger ones of 20-40,000 tonnes.

Hau said that the government needs to give incentives in order to encourage enterprises to make investment in cold storages (exempting land rent for 3-5 years, giving preferential loans from the Vietnam Development Bank).

Ellen Hardy

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