Aquaculture for all

Committee Focus on Regulations and Restrictions

Economics Politics +2 more

VIET NAM - A steering committee on tra fish production and consumption in the Mekong Delta held its first meeting in Can Tho City this week, addressing the need for price regulations and supply restrictions.

The steering committee, which was set up on May 18 under a decision from the Prime Minister, is responsible for helping the Government expand export markets and solve problems in the industry.

Speaking at the meeting, Cao Duc Phat, the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and head of the committee, said maintaining income for farmers was of paramount concern.

Low prices

Because of low prices, many farmers in the Mekong Delta have abandoned their ponds after export growth slowed last year.

The land devoted to tra breeding areas in the Delta this year fell 30 per cent against last year, according to figures from Delta provinces.

Truong Van Sau, the deputy chairman of the Vinh Long Province People’s Committee, said tra fish breeding for the rest of the year would face more difficulties as production costs increase. Exports are facing difficulties as many countries which import tra fish have set up technical barriers to limit imports to protect their seafood production sector, MARD has said.

Representatives from other Delta provinces said the steering committee should petition the Government to support lower interest rates on loans for seafood processors and farmers.

Phat said Delta provinces and cities should check remaining stocks of fish in ponds and inform the Government of the quantity.

Phat said to increase export value, the Delta must not only adjust zoning plans for breeding tra fish but also restrict supply so prices could increase. Phat also said a Tra Fish association should be set up.

Tra fish breeding has developed rapidly in the Delta in recent years as fish has become a key export product in the aquaculture sector.

The area under tra fish cultivation in the Delta increased to 5,700 ha in 2008 from 3,700 ha in 2006, MARD said.

Russians call for more

Export of tra fish to Russia could rise slightly to 70,000 tonnes in the second half of the year, according to a committee set up to monitor the exports.

Duong Ngoc Minh, head of the Steering Committee for Tra and Basa Fish Export to Russia and general director of the Hung Vuong Joint Stock Company, said Russian importers had asked to buy more of the fish from Viet Nam in the form of both packaged fillet and whole fish.

Exporters shipped more tha n 10,000 tonnes of tra fish to Russia in both May and June.

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