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Vietnam investing $200 million in aquaculture

Vietnam will set aside an annual average budget of nearly US$200 million in the next 10 years for a master plan to develop the country’s fish farming industry.

The master plan, just approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, is envisioned raising the fish farming industry’s output to 4.5 million tons a year for local sale and export.

In the first five years, the output is projected to climb to 3.6 million tons, and exports to amount to $3.5 to $4 billion. The respective figures in the following five years will rise to 4.5 million tons to between $5 and $5.5 billion.

Pangasius and shrimp will continue to be the industry’s key export earners. Pangaisus output is forecast in the master plan to grow at an annual rate of 4.8 percent to reach between 1.5 million or 2 million tons by 2020. Respective projections for shrimp will be 5.7 percent and 700,000 tons.

Mollusk farming and general seafood farming are expected to rise 16 percent and 14.9 percent annually, respectively.

The master plan highlights key issues that should be addressed, such as infrastructure development, breeding development, technology transfer, disease control, environmental improvement, production and distribution system development, and information dissemination.

The capital for translating the master plan into reality will be sourced from the state budget (10 percent), bank loans (50 percent), and private sector investment (the rest).

The pangasius farming sector has seen output declining to 800,000 tons from last year’s 1.4 million tons, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

VASEP’s secretary general, Truong Dinh Hoe, said fast volume growth and unhealthy competitive practices such as price undercutting and failure to ensure quality in the last few years have spelled trouble for the fish on world markets, especially the U.S. that has slapped anti-dumping duties on tra imports from Vietnam.

“A downward adjustment of output is good for farming restructuring and market consolidation,” he said.

Pangasius prices for processors in the Mekong Delta, the country’s key tra and basa fish farming area, has steadily inched up since January.

The falling supply has resulted from the fact that many farmers abandoned their farms last year due to high farming costs and volatile tra prices.

Shrimp exporters can expect a jump in revenue this year. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, shrimp suppliers in Asia in the first quarter of the year have faced raw material shortages. Meanwhile, Canada and China, among others seem to be cutting export volume, thus affecting global supply.

The recent move by the U.S. Department of Commerce to lower antidumping duties for frozen warmwater shrimp imports from Vietnam is an incentive for local exporters to spur shipments. VASEP said shrimp exports are forecast to reach US $2 billion this year.

Source: Vietfish

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