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Poor Uptake on Cash Aid for Fish Farmers

by Ellen Hardy
13 June 2008, at 1:00am

VIET NAM - A plan to help of catfish farmers and exporters in Viet Nam with VND1 trillion in loans from the State Bank of Viet Nam has so far not been successful, according to official sources.

The exporters have been reluctant to take out the dong loans because earlier this year interest rates climbed too high and in April the government limited the amount of foreign currency loans banks could give in an effort to save foreign reserves for importers.

Since then, fish processors and exporters have not had enough money to buy fish, while fish breeders have been unable to sell their huge oversupply.

Fish processors in eight Mekong Delta provinces have borrowed more than VND24 billion (US$1.48 million) since the beginning of the month.

This figure was released by the Aquaculture Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) at a meeting with authorities from the eight provinces late last week.

While businesses from Soc Trang, An Giang and Vinh Long provinces had borrowed between VND4.5 billion-VND15 billion each, businesses from Dong Thap, Tien Giang, Hau Giang, Ben Tre provinces and Can Tho City have yet to obtain emergency loans.

Delegates said fish farmers in the latter five provinces could not afford to feed their fish.

According to the official souces, Huynh The Nang, vice chairman of the An Giang Province People’s Committee, said fish processing firms had bought only 1,000 tons of the province’s total 20,000 tons of fish in stock.

Ellen Hardy