“Easy time” has gone

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Many experts say that this year, Tra fish production and export will continue facing difficulties. Vietnam’s Tra, Basa had talks with administrators, leaders and businesses to learn more about the difficulties.

Nguyen Viet Thang – Vietnam Fisheries Society (VINAFIS) President: Prices of input materials must be tightly controlled

Tra industry experienced a lot of difficulties in 2012. Prices of the fish were low and continuously declining while those of input materials rocketed. In early December 2012, each kg of Tra fish was priced at 20,500 – 21,700 VND. Meanwhile, cost price of each kg was 23,000 – 24,000 VND, making fish raisers lose 3,000 – 3,500 VND. Especially, the price of feed rose by 40% over the year. Together with high interest rates and the shortage of capital, it forced many households to give up the job or do it in moderation. Dong Thap has the largest tra-raising area in the Mekong Delta with nearly 1,000 ha. In such difficult context, 30% of the area has been left empty. The “easy time” of the job has gone. Now, both farmers and businesses are facing difficulties.

In order to help Tra industry escape from the difficult situation in 2013, a close coordination and cooperation among concerned parties including the Steering committee for Tra fish production and consumption in the Mekong Delta, VINAFIS, the Fisheries Directorate, provincial aquaculture branch offices, and banks is needed.


Tra businesses should pay attention to recovering and strengthening traditional markets – Photo: An Dang

Truong Dinh Hoe – VASEP General Secretary: Strengthening traditional markets

2012 was closed with a lot of thorns for Vietnam’s Tra industry. It was also a “misfortune” for a number of big businesses in the industry. In 2012, the fish was exported to 142 nations and territories, while the figure was 136 in 2011. However, the year saw a reduction of imports from seven among the 10 biggest consumption markets including the EU, the US and Saudi Arabia.

This year, Tra businesses should pay attention to recovering and strengthening traditional markets. In stead of expanding export markets, they should focus their investment in key markets. It is expected that export value of Tra this year would be lower than that of 2012. However, this is also an opportunity for businesses to harmonize their investment capital focus on reproduction and business, aimed at meeting fastidious markets’ requirements.


Nguyen Thanh Tung – Head of Vietnam Institute of Fisheries Economics and Planning: Complying with planning

In 2012, the total Tra raising area nationwide reached 5,910 ha, producing an output of more than 1.28 million tons. Production planning was one of the factors that caused impact on the fish last year. This year, attention will be given to the work of planning. Fish raising regions will be professionalized and each region will be given a concrete fish raising area. At the same time, Tra industry will focus on enhancing the quality of products and meeting requirement of consumption markets.

Vietnam is considered the best place in Southeast Asia for producing Tra fish. We should have a reasonable planning for fish raising regions. We should also expand the model of raising the fish under the VietGAP standard in order to protect the environment and enhance the quality of products. Especially, fish raisers and businesses should comply with fish raising planning strictly.

Based on experiences in 2012, the whole Tra industry this year will focus on overcoming difficulties and organizing production in the direction of enhancing efficiency and ensuring sustainable development. Production will be in accordance to the market’s demand. Prices of input materials will be controlled. Total fish-raising area will not exceed 6,000 ha. Supply will be adjusted to have a total output of around 1 million tons. The value of exports will be enhanced to be higher than that of 2012. Advanced technologies will be applied to production and processing, while food safety and hygiene and environment ensured. The building and development of feed, chemical and medicine producing units have to be attached to fish production and consumption.


Tran Van Hung – General Director of Hung Ca Co., Ltd: Businesses’ credit capitals must be managed

Although Hung Ca is one of the top 20 leading Tra businesses in Vietnam, it still faced a lot of difficulties in 2012. In order to adapt to the difficult situation, the business has decided to keep 70 – 85% of its fish raising area to ensure its processing and exports. It has also accelerated expenditure-saving efforts to lower the cost price. In the coming time, Hung Ca will invest 300 billion VND in building a feed processing factory with a daily capacity of 800 tons. Once the factory becomes operational, the business will not have to buy 400 tons of high-priced feed each day.

This year, apart from difficulties like those in 2012, fish raisers and businesses may have to face unfair competition from among businesses. The use of credits in production must be effective and in accordance to purpose. Many factories will have to stop their operation or operate at a low capacity. Businesses, therefore, should have a clear orientation, focus on bettering production, not expand markets and but limit feed imports.

>>  In 2013, Tra fish continues to be determined as one among five aquaculture mainstay products. However, Tra exports are forecast to be still gloomy. If the industry has no good preparations and measures to ease difficulties right now, Vietnam’s Tra exports will continue going down in the coming time.

Nguyen Chi

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