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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Catfish farms create waves in Mekong Delta  (อ่าน 1798 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 13, 2007, 09:37:19 PM »

Source: Vietnam News Agency  World News    13/08/2007 21:08:04

 

Breeder at a tra catfish pond in hamlet 4 of Dong Thap Province’s My Tho Commune, Tu Trinh, cast handfuls of fish feed into the teeming water as each mighty specimen, about 1.5kg, muscle each other for a bite.

 

But despite his obviously abundant harvest, Trinh is not a happy man.

 

"I’m in a really difficult situation here because we’ve been banned from raising fish and seafood," he said.

 

It’s not just the emotional efforts. Trinh put together VND200 million to build the farm, completing it just in time to be told he couldn’t use it because the farm is within a zoned area for a different purpose. Many other fish farmers along the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are in the same boat.

 

It’s a far cry from the situation last year when one kg of tra catfish was sold at more than VND16,000 and local hopefuls rushed out to buy land to raise tra catfish. The flood of interest was unavoidable, and it was difficult to control the numbers, deputy director of Dong Thap Province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department Duong Nghia Quoc said.

 

But the bubble was soon to burst as more and more provinces tried to tackle the escalating problem by tightening up rules on catfish pond construction.

 

It’s a growing problem in all meanings of the world, according to deputy chairman of Dong Thap Province People’s Committee Le Minh Hoan. In the first six months of this year areas dedicated to catfish farming exceeded 1,000ha, with unofficial ponds continuing to spill over official estimates.

 

For An Giang, the water area dedicated to catfish breeding had already clocked up to nearly 1,400ha in the province, only around 200ha of which was officially planned, according to Director of the province’s Fisheries Department Nguyen Van Thanh.

 

It’s because of these ‘back garden’ fish ponds that putting an accurate figure on the problem was next to impossible, Duong Tan Loc, deputy chairman of Fisheries Association in Can Tho said.

 

This led to State planning being one step behind reality, according to Thanh.

 

This was added to that fact that the fisheries ministry and local provinces had pledged to work together to publish a strategy for raising sustainable aquaculture but the information was not specific enough, Thanh added.

 

Also causing a stir is a lingering dispute between local breeders and sea food processing factories.

 

At present, the Delta has 70 processing factories with annual capacity of about 1.5 million tonnes of raw seafood.

 

In the business partnerships trust is vital but along the Mekong Delta it seems everyone in the local catfish industry is throwing a line.

 

Owner of a 5,000 sq.m tra fish pond, Tu Nhan, said he and other fish pond owners signed a contract with a business in An Giang Province to sell 1,000 tonnes of tra catfish at a price of VND14,000 per kg.

 

But two weeks later, when the company were due to collect there was no sign. Nhan said the fish were only picked up after three weeks following price reduction to VND12,500 per kg.

 

"Our lesson is never believe in contracts," Tu said.

 

Since then, Tu and other fish pond owners have sold their fish to any business who offers the best price, regardless of previous agreements.

 

But this strategy has a double edge as Doan Toi, general director of Nam Viet Company in An Giang complains: "Fish breeders are only interested in profit, they don’t care about the consequences for their businesses."

 

He said his company hadn’t yet managed to buy tra catfish at the price agreed on in the contract.

 

This lack of co-operation and confidence was having serious knock-on effects on the industry, including volatile prices and excessive waste -all impacting the sustainable development of the industry, according to Viet Nam Fish Farming Association chairman Nguyen Huu Khanh
 


Source or related URL: http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn
 
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