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Upstream Battle for Catfish Firms

by Ellen Hardy
10 July 2008, at 1:00am

VIET NAM - The tra and basa catfish industry might not meet their export target and even lose markets if problems in production and consumption are not properly tackled, warned Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Cao Duc Phat.

Phat made the comment at an online meeting with representatives from eight Mekong (Cuu Long) Delta provinces on Monday, reported VNA News Agency. The meeting convened to review the catfish production and consumption of these localities, focusing on the disbursement and efficiency of the Government’s VND1 trillion (US$62.5 million) loans released last month to aid catfish export processing companies.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, although the VND1 trillion loan was verified by Agribank in early June to help enterprises buy tra and basa catfish from fishermen, only 41 per cent of the amount was disbursed, not enough to make a significant impact on enterprises’ catfish purchase volumes.

While processing and exporting enterprises complained of a lack of capital for purchasing and processing tra and basa catfish bought from fishermen, most provinces reported low disbursement rates of the Government’s VND1 trillion loan. This was largely attributed to difficulties in accessing loans.

View the VNA News Agency story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy