Aquaculture and Fisheries News => Aquaculture News => ข้อความที่เริ่มโดย: Nicaonline ที่ ธันวาคม 06, 2006, 11:23:53 PM

หัวข้อ: The story of Vietnam’s tra and basa fish
เริ่มหัวข้อโดย: Nicaonline ที่ ธันวาคม 06, 2006, 11:23:53 PM
Source: VietnamNet Bidge  World News    6/12/2006 10:12:38


Tra and basa prices have been skyrocketing in early December to VND15-16,000 per kilo. They are making a fat profit, but farmers do not feel happy: the fish farming is unstable and their income is uncertain.

Which names are used for Vietnam’s tra and basa?


Basa fish are grown in the western areas of Vietnam, but the brand name “Mekong basa” now belongs to another owner in the US. The Ministry of Fisheries has decided to name the kind of fish as “Panga Vietnam”, but it has been rejected by the farmers in the Cuu Long River Delta. To date, tra and basa fish, as they called in Vietnamese, still do not have brand names.


How can you build up brand names for tra and basa, and other kinds of seafood in the western areas?


This would be a long process and it would require big effort from Vietnamese management authorities, farmers and seafood processors.


It has taken scientists and officials from the Ministry of Fisheries almost two years to discuss the brand names for Vietnam’s tra and basa before the name ‘Panga Vietnam’ had been suggested. However, the name has not been welcomed by 80% of farmers as they said they could not find any link with the growing area, the western area of Vietnam. “Basa Mekong – Vietnam” has been considered a better choice as it shows the geographical position, the source of the fish.


However, the biggest hindrance for the building up of the brand name for tra and basa is that foreign distributors reject Vietnam’s brand name, they want to sell tra and basa under the names they choose. In other words, Vietnamese enterprises are not powerful enough to sell products in foreign countries under their own names.


Nguyen Van Kich, Director of Cafatex, a seafood processor, acknowledged that there are only a few brand names acknowledged in foreign countries. Those who can sell products, or powerful foreign distributors, will have the right to decide which brand names the products will bear.


Mr Kich said that the brand name war occurs everywhere in the world, and it is very difficult to build up brand names for Vietnam-made products. In the immediate time, Vietnamese enterprises will have no other choices than relying on foreign distributors. Later, they will have to find out suitable ways to link tra and basa products, which are well known by consumers, with their actual brand names chosen by the actual producers.


How can Vietnam develop stable fish farming?


Bui Huu Tri, Chairman of the Can Tho Seafood Processors’ Association said that fish now grow more slowly than in the past, and the percentage of dead fish is growing alarmingly. The reason for the bad situation is the polluted environment


The percentage of dead fish during farming has increased from 5% to 15-20%, or even 50%. Farmers have to use medicine to cure fish, and as the result, their products cannot meet the requirements on food hygiene as they contain the anti-biotic residues that exceed the allowed level.


Duong Minh Tri, the owner of the Can Tho-based Mekong Establishment for Seafood Products for Export said that farmers must be guided regarding which chemical substances they can use during farming. Some farmers in Cuu Long River Delta said that they have found a kind of herb that can help cure diseases for tra and basa, but there has been no official conclusion about the use of the herb that has been made by competent authorities.

The model of farming safe basa and tra being of Agifish should be seen as a good model to be followed.


Mr Tri said that it is very necessary now to standardize the tra and basa farming. To date, the quality of fish is assessed mostly by feeling. He said that the colour of fish can reflect the quality, why not to set up standards based on the colour of fish?


Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of Agifish Nguyen Dinh Huan raised a question: why not set up an industrial zone for aquaculture? The industrial zone may be a breakthrough for fish farming in the Cuu Long River Delta. In fact, a foreign partner once placed an order of 1,000 containers of fish every year, but no Vietnamese producer could accept the order, it was partially because of the lack of an industrial zone.


In fact, the prospect of the fish farming is bright, and Vietnam’s tra and basa are a favourite in many countries in the world. The quality of products and food hygiene are the factors Vietnamese farmers should pay special attention to. The model of farming safe basa and tra being of Agifish should be seen as a good model to be followed. However, a lot of things still need to be done to develop a strong and stable fish farming industry.
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