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Tra Fish Price Decreasing Viet Nam Farmers Suffering

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

VIET NAM Thousands of tra farmers in Cuu Long River Delta have been backed against the wall as the fish price has been decreasing for the last two months. The interminable price decreases have brought the huge loss of VND300bil to the regions farmers, according to VietNam Net Bridge.

Nguyen Thien Phap, the owner of a tra pond in Phu Tan district in the southern province of An Giang sadly said that he has just sold 100 tonnes of fish to Cadonimex at VND13,900/kg. Suffering the loss of VND150mil, but Phap thought he was lucky to sell the fish. If he had not sold fish right now, he would have suffered bigger loss.

Input Material Prices Skyrocket, Output Product Prices Plunge

Farmers are flocking to seafood processing companies these days to offer to sell fish, but only a few of them can sell fish. Meanwhile, the tra fish price is on the decrease. Earlier this month, processors collected fish at VND14,500/kg, but now they buy at VND14,000/kg, and sometimes, they pay VND13,800/kg only.

The price of fish food has increased four times since the beginning of the year. “The food price has risen by over 40%, making the production cost soar to VND16,000 for every kilogramme of fish. With the prevailing sale price, farmers are suffering the loss of VND2,000/kg,” said Bui Huu Tri, Chairman of the Can Tho Seafood Association.

Misfortune never comes alone. Banks have stopped lending, which have pushed farmers against the wall. Dinh Cong Thanh, a loyal client of An Giang Agribank, said that the bank has refused his proposal to borrow VND500mil from the bank. Very few farmers can access bank loans at this moment. If banks agree to provide loans, they would require a very high interest rate, 1.8% per month.

As the bank doors are closed for farmers, they have to borrow money on the black market at very high interest rate of 5% per month. Those who cannot borrow money anywhere have to sell land, vehicles and assets to pay debts.

View the VietNam Net Bridge story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy