Catfish farmer. (Photo: worldofpangasius)
Mekong Delta can grow sustainably, officials say
Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 05:00 (GMT + 9)
The Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta will need around USD 2.88 billion to sustainably grow the local fisheries sector, according to officials who spoke at a conference held in Can Tho City last week.
The State Budget contribution for this expense will be used to improve fisheries infrastructure, and they will try to use foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as official development assistance (ODA) funding for other fisheries development projects, the officials said.
Vu Van Tam, deputy minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), advised Mekong Delta authorities to get scientific and specific plans ready for all processes including production, processing and export of seafood, particularly tra and shrimp, if they want to ensure sustainable development of their fisheries sector, VNS reports.
Conducting these tasks would enable them to manage the entire value chain in a superior manner, thereby ensuring profit distribution and risk sharing in the fairest way possible, Tam specified.
He said that the Cuu Long River Delta fisheries sector has great potential to draw investment from domestic and foreign investors in addition to funds from State Budget disbursements.
Provinces and cities in the Delta region, Tam said, should create close relationships among themselves by establishing a fisheries development centre with Can Tho City as the heart, as the city possesses strong transport infrastructure linking regional localities by road, water and air, plus various scientific and technological research institutes and training centres.
If Can Tho becomes the hub for the delta's fisheries development centre, it would provide the delta with a common fisheries market, a marine produce processing complex and a freshwater produce trading floor, as well as research institutes and a human-resource development centre.
In order for the Mekong Delta to realize this, the Government has to issue incentive policies to egg on investments beyond the State Budget.
"The agriculture ministry will submit a master plan for fisheries development until 2020 to the Government for approval. If the Government approves it, the plan will provide a legal framework for establishment of the centre," Tam stated.
Dang Huy Dong, deputy minister of Planning and Investment, agreed with him, saying the Cuu Long Delta Fisheries Development Centre should be set up so that it can work as an effective link for the fisheries industry in the delta region.
In addition, there should be an agency specialising in regulating tra production and processing, he said.
"The ministry plans to call on domestic and overseas enterprises to further invest into the delta's fisheries sector with the main focus on infrastructure facilities," Dong added.
By Natalia Real