Low shrimp prices hit Mekong Delta farmers

Monday, Jul 03, 2023 08:09

Business has soured for shrimp farmers in Bac Lieu and other Mekong Delta provinces as prices slump. — Photo nld.vn

Shrimp farming, the leading economic activity in Bac Lieu Province and elsewhere in the Mekong Delta, has been hit by a recent slump in prices.

Ta Hoang Nhiem, chairman of the Bac Lieu Province Shrimp Association, said a 40 per cent drop in prices this year has taken a toll on local farmers.

To cut costs, a number of farms have been discharging untreated water into local water bodies, posing a threat to the environment and even people’s lives, Pham Van Thieu, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said.

Fluctuations in exports this year could also lead to a mass closure of household shrimp farms, he said.

The general director of Minh Phu Seafood Corp, Le Van Quang, said many countries are cutting shrimp imports due to the current economic downturn.

“Besides, the relatively high production costs mean Vietnamese shrimp exports are unable to compete with that of Ecuador and India.”

The problem lies in Viet Nam’s low shrimp farming success rate of only 40 per cent compared to 90 per cent and 60 per cent for Ecuador and India, he said.

It is important to focus on high-quality shrimp breeds, reduce the density of farms and adopt proper farming methods to achieve a higher success rate, he said.

Many experts also said that to lower costs, feed prices must be under strict management.

The head of the Viet Nam Directorate of Fisheries, Tran Dinh Luan, said farming households should work with co-operative groups to cut costs, avoid mass harvesting and ensure product quality.

“Shrimp prices are projected to bounce back at the end of this year, and so it is crucial to have reasonable preparations in terms of shrimp seed quality and farming environment.” — VNS

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