February 17, 2009

Vietnam targets 1.5 million tonnes of pangasius output this year

Vietnam is aiming to produce 1.3 million to 1.5 million tonnes of pangasius catfish this year despite bracing for a tougher 2009.


At a meeting in Mekong Delta Can Tho city last week, the government and private sectors agreed to boost their cooperation amid hard times. Processors and exporters are also advised to transfer technology to breeders while signing contracts with them to ensure stable material prices.


Local companies have also urged the Ministry of Planning and Investment to establish a wholesale aquatic product market and irrigation system.


The companies also suggested the Ministry of Finance cut valued added tax on aquatic feed.


While pangasius is now grown in 6,000 hectares in eight Mekong Delta provinces, local seafood groups say nearly 50 percent of local households have stopped farming the fish, as 30 percent of them lost capital, and 40 percent are unable to pay debt.


Prices of pangasius are now standing at VND14,000 (US$0.80) to VND16,000 (US$0.91) per kilogramne, up by VND1,500 to 2,500 in late 2008.


US$1 = VND17,486.50 (Feb 17)

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