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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Mekong processors face shrimp, catfish shortages  (อ่าน 2005 ครั้ง)
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The country´s shrimp farming area declined last year. (Photo: Stock File)

Mekong processors face shrimp, catfish shortages

VIET NAM
Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 21:40 (GMT + 9)



Seafood processors in the Mekong Delta provinces have faced a shortage of raw materials since shrimp and tra catfish (pangasius) farming areas slumped last year.

The general secretary of the Ca Mau Province Seafood Exporters and Processors Association, Ly Van Thuan, says that most of the 31 shrimp processors in the province now operate at just 40 per cent capacity.

Ca Mau, the country’s top shrimp exporter, was unable to achieve its export target last year due to the shortage, reports VNS.

According to the Bac Lieu Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the area under shrimp farming fell by almost a third last year and warned that the shortage would persist through the first quarter.


Catfish harvest. (Photo: NACA)

Tra processors in the delta, the country’s largest catfish production area, have also been facing a raw materials shortage since many farmers stopped breeding tra in 2009 after suffering losses in 2008.

The area of tra farms decreased by 30 per cent in the first half of 2009. Most processors are currently running at 50 per cent of capacity.

Thuan says that shrimp farmers also suffered severe losses in 2008, leading to a decline in farming area last year.

"Seafood processors know about the situation but cannot do much since they have not established their own breeding areas", says Thuan.

Tran Thien Hai, chairman of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) says that the provinces should reschedule their farming plans to avoid the constant swing between overabundance and severe shortage of shrimp.

He also said that processors should work together with authorities and shrimp breeders to expand the area on which shrimp is bred on an industrial scale.

Last month, the Government approved a plan to develop tra catfish production and consumption in the Delta through 2020.

This plan, which requires an outlay of around VND 1.34 trillion (USD 74 million), will stipulate that new tra farms should have a minimum area of at least 10 hectares and be located in areas zoned for the purpose.

The plan will also attempt to reorganise tra breeding activities, develop improved strains, and improve co-operation among breeders and processors.

By Michel Loubet
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


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