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Mekong Delta to boost tra, basa catfish farming

VIET NAM - The Mekong Delta plans to enlarge its tra and basa catfish breeding area to 10,200 ha with 1,900 fish cages by 2010.

The output of tra and basa catfish will be over 860,000 tonnes by 2010, earning 12.112 trillion VND (757 million USD).

For the long term, Mekong Delta provinces intends to increase its farming area for tra and basa catfish to 16,600 ha by 2020, with 3,900 fish cages, which will provide an output of 1.9 million tones and generate an income of 34.572 trillion VND (2.16 billion USD).

To fulfill these set targets, the region will develop 2,100 establishments producing 2.7 billion of fry by 2010 and 6.7 billion by 2020.

The cost of the project on raising tra and basa catfish is 6.474 trillion VND (404.6 million USD), 2.3 percent of which will be sourced from local budget.

In terms of processing capacity, the provinces aims to have 68 factories, capable of turning out 534,000 tonnes of products per year, and 130 factories with annual output of over 1 million tonnes by 2020.

Export targets include 230,000 tonnes of tra and basa catfish fillet, earning 600 million USD by 2010 and 460,000 tonnes with a turnover of 1.2 billion USD by 2020.

In 2006, tra and basa catfish exports in Mekong Delta reached 500 million USD. This year's figure is expected to reach 750,000 million USD.