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Pangasius farmers may get loans at preferential interest rates !

State-owned commercial banks in four pangasius producing provinces in Mekong Delta (An Giang, Dong Thap, Vinh Long and Can Tho) still reported high level of outstanding loans offered to insiders in pangasius aquaculture and processing sector, according to Nguyen Huy Dien, Deputy General Director of Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish) after his trip for preliminary assessments of the effects of government policy to help fish growers get out of economic difficulties. An Giang province has currently had VND1,265.338 billion of total outstanding debts, Dong Thap VND4,154 billion, and Can Tho VND5,688 billion. Inter-ministerial inspection delegation, including D-Fish, had meetings with local People’s Committees, Departments of Industry and Trade and state-owned commercial banks to assess the situation. Regarding loan interest rates, most fish farmers and processors with debts at maturity had received interest rates down to 13 – 15 percent per year. However, some commercial banks still calculated high interest rate of 19 – 20 percent for loans offered for pangasius sector, causing more pressures on costs for fish production and processing to export. Relevant authorities in localities are trying to find measures to handle the obstacle. The inspection delegation also took a visit to fish farms and processing facilities and noted that there have been fish producers and processors unable to access banks’ capital sources. Dong Thap recorded good results in saving its pangasius industry. Mekong Delta-based province totals now 1,174 units supplying pangasius fingerling. It also reaches a large area of fish farming of 769.5 hectares. Dong Thap still has difficulties in providing sources of capital and offering new loans to pangasius industry insiders, but local authorities have taken active action to deal with existing problems in order that pangasius industry insiders can get loans with 11 percent interest rate. In early October 2012, Dong Thap’s relevant authorities hold dialogue with pangasius farmers on television to hear their concerns over bank loans and answer their questions related to the issue to find the solution for the problem.

Source: Vasep

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