February 9, 2012
A production of 1.2-1.5 million tonnes of pangasius fish is Vietnam's projection in 2012, compared to 1.2 million tonnes in 2011, state media reported, citing Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat.
The country also expects to export pangasius fish products worth US$2 billion this year, rising from US$1.8 billion last year, the minister said.
Phat requested related state agencies and local firms to secure good fish babies, feed quality and clean growing areas. The Central Bank of Vietnam pledged to provide financial assistances for pangasius fish growers and processors.
According to Duong Ngoc Minh, general director of Hung Vuong Seafood Co., pangasius fish growers need investments of VND26 trillion (US$1.23 billion) for production of about 1.3 million tonnes of fish.
Difficult access to loans and high interest rate have hurt the fish growers and made the production costs to rise, said pangasius growers in the Mekong Delta. High prices of aquatic feed and fish babies and regular occurrence of disease are the other challenges of the pangasius production. Low profits from pangasius fish cultivation have discouraged farmers in Mekong Delta to keep and expand growing areas.
Vietnam-sourced pangasius fish products are exported to 135 foreign markets, with the EU and US being the biggest importers, accounting for 29.1% and 18.4%, respectively, of Vietnam's pangasius fish exports.
In 2011, the country's revenue from pangasius fish rose 26.5% on year to US$1.8 billion, accounting for 29.5% of the nation's seafood export revenues.