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Quality and Safety Will Secure Market

by Ellen Hardy
14 January 2008, at 12:00am

VIET NAM - Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam says that last year was a key period in the sectors development plan through 2010. Measures have been put in place to meet targets and improve the quality of products.

Speaking to Vietnamese News agency, he said that the sector had experienced strong growth for the past two years - partly due to the Government’s new policy to convert some agricultural land into areas for developing aquaculture.

In 2007, the sector had an area growth rate of 23.1 per cent and production totalling 2.1 million tonnes. The sector has now reached an annual growth rate of 11 per cent with an expected total revenue of US$2.9 billion. Of that, aquaculture accounted for $1.87 billion and fishing contributed $1 billion.

Impacts

However, changing weather and new diseases have had a negative impact on productivity.

Seafood import markets have been applying strict standards, particularly regarding food safety and hygiene.

These challenges are faced by many countries and Viet Nam does operate international Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. However, certain controls governing feed manufacture and pesticide use have not been sufficient and the aquaculture sector will have to address this if it wants to succeed in export markets.

Food hygiene and safety management will be a priority for farmers and processors.

And taking this stance is already paying dividends. Viet Nam's aquaculture industry has extended its market to 130 countries and territories and number of seafood enterprises now satisfy EU, US and Japan import standards. The sector has a significant market share and is becoming more active in promoting its exports.

Targets export revenue is $4.52 billion for 2008 year, an increase of 19.2 per cent over last year. The focus will be centred on sustainable development, diversification and improvements to competitive ability.

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Ellen Hardy