Panga harvesting. (Photo: MARD)
Pangasius industry aims to stabilise production, exports
Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 00:30 (GMT + 9)
Despite the fact that seafood exports have grown to more than USD 2.9 billion, according to the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), numerous seafood enterprises have been facing difficulties through June 2012. It is thus expected that until the end of the year, the fisheries industry’s main priority will be to support processors in order to keep production going and to strengthen exports in order to reach the yearly target, keep the jobs of 10,000 workers and thereby add to stabilising the country’s social security.
Seafood exports play an important role in developing the entire agriculture industry, as they bring in a huge source of foreign currencies for Vietnam and also generate jobs for locals in processing factories, MARD observed.
The government stressed that it is therefore necessary to support the stable growth of seafood exports as 2012 approaches 2013.
Accordingly, MARD has submitted to the government a package of VND 9,000 billion (USD 426.8 million) to save businesses and fish farmers with preferential interest rate loans.
After a deep dive of VND 18,000 (USD 0.85) – VND 19,000 (USD 0.90) per kg in the middle of July, raw pangasius prices in the Mekong Delta have bounced back to VND 22,000 (USD 1.04) – VND 22,500 (USD 1.07) per kg, which the sector considers a good omen, pangasius-vietnam.com reports.
Higher fish prices mean that farmers can cut their losses and invest to restock, and processors can make sure to stock raw fish for processing and exporting, explained Mai Dang Hoa, General Director of Sai Gon-Mekong Fishery Company (SAMEFICO).
Meanwhile, Vietnam targets to have revenues of USD 11 billion from seafood exports by 2020, said the General Department of Fisheries under MARD, VNS reports.
This target is part of the department’s growth plan for the fisheries sector in the 2012-2020 period. The sector is expected to enlarge between 8 per cent and 10 per cent during this time frame.
Per this plan, the sector will contribute 2.8 per cent to 3 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, with aquatic output projected to be as high as 7 million tons and seafood production forecast at 2.95 million tonnes.
The government has plans to both foster prestigious brands and found a network in foreign countries to promote the export of its seafood products, selling them directly to foreign supermarkets and main distributors.
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By Natalia Real