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Lack of Capital in Vietnamese Tra Fish

VIET NAM - On July 15, the story of tra fish, once again, was put on the agenda of a meeting between leaders of provinces in the southern region of Viet Nam.

Dr Nguyen Huu Dung, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood and Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said that it was unnecessary for tra fish to have been discussed at the latest session of the National Assembly.

Dung said testily: It seems that the government only wants enterprises to purchase all the fish left unsold among farmers, while it does not care for the business results of enterprises.


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"We have said a lot of things, but we have not done anything"
Nguyen Huu Khanh, Chairman of the An Giang Aquaculture and Seafood Processing Association

Luong Hoang Manh, Director of Mekong Seafood Import-Export Company, said that the problem of the tra fish industry needs to be settled to the roots. Why does tra overproduction occur? Who is responsible for this?

Manh stressed that the biggest problem now is not lack of capital, but overproduction.

Nguyen Huu Khanh, Chairman of the An Giang Aquaculture and Seafood Processing Association, said that there is no accurate figure about tra pond areas; therefore, there cannot be a suitable long-term strategy on tra fish industry development.

We have said a lot of things, but we have not done anything, Khanh said, adding that it is not until farmers complain about unsold materials that state management agencies rush to count up fish pond area and fish output.

An Giang fish farmers say that farmers who sign contracts with enterprises are able to get loans from banks. However, Khanh said that the requirement proves to be unfeasible.

Khanh related that in Japan, food processing projects get licences only when investors can show they can have enough materials. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, the licencing process goes the opposite way.

Analysts believe that it is necessary to establish a tra and basa fish association in the Cuu Long River Delta which would consider the market scale in order to set up suitable aquaculture development plans.

Ellen Hardy

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