Mekong Delta provinces to cut tra fish farms

Friday, Sep 26, 2014 17:47

Farmers harvest tra fish in Chau Phu District in the Mekong Delta of An Giang. The Mekong Delta will reduce the size of tra fish farms in the context of a falling demand in domestic and international markets. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Provinces in the Mekong Delta will reduce the size of tra fish or pangasius farms in the light of a decline in domestic and international demand for the fish.

According to officials of the Viet Nam Pangasius Association and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, areas for raising tra fish will be reduced by 500 hectares to 5,900 hectares in 2015, and by another 500 hectares to 5,400 hectares in 2016.

The officials also revealed that provinces in the Mekong Delta would be popularizing a new method to make tra fish production more efficient.

Details on the new method have yet to be released. But officials said the method would increase average tra fish output from 160 tonnes per hectare to 180 to 200 tonnes per hectare.

This will help increase Viet Nam's capacity to more than one million tonnes in 2015 and 1.2 million tonnes in 2016. Export turnover is expected to reach at least US$2 billion every year.

The provinces will also reduce the free-range density of tra fish farms, from 35 to 40 fish per square meter to 20 to 25 fish per square meter. They will also renovate production chains in factories to raise the quality and reduce the costs of the products. They are aiming to process from 600,000 to 700,000 tonnes of products per year with a high value-added rate of 10 per cent.

More than 320 fish breeding bases in nine provinces will be improved to produce 1.9 billion high-quality fingerlings per year for tra fish farmers.

Vo Hung Dung, vice chairman of the association, said that to have a stable output and expand the tra fish market, concerned ministries and departments, as well as provinces in the Mekong Delta, need to carry out measures to adapt to international trade dispute procedures and technical hurdles, especially in the markets of the United States and European Union.

He urged the ministries, departments and provinces to boost trade promotions and expand tra fish consumption in potential markets such as Russia, China, Mexico and India, as well as the Middle East and ASEAN regions.

From January to mid-September, provinces in the Mekong Delta harvested 776,000 tonnes of tra fish from 4,300 hectares of farms and exported more than 490,000 tonnes of fish worth $1.27 billion, or 72.5 per cent of their annual target. Tra fish export turnover is expected to reach $1.8 billion this year. — VNS

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