November 11, 2008
Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has passed a proposal to develop tra catfish production and sales in the Mekong Delta until 2010, with further orientations towards 2020.
The breeding of tra catfish will be developed in favourable water sites such as the Tien and Hau rivers. Water and land areas will also be zoned off for the production of fries and for fish processing plants in Can Tho city and the provinces of An Giang, Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Ben Tre and Tra Vinh.
The plan aims to increase tra catfish farming acreage in the Mekong Delta to 8,600 hectares by 2010 with an annual output of 1.25 million tonnes, and 13,000 hectares by 2020 with an annual output of 1.85 million tonnes.
The region's tra catfish exports are projected to increase about 5.9 percent each year, earning about US$1.5 billion by 2010 and US$2.3 billion by 2020.
Tra and basa catfish are Vietnam's key seafood export items, with growth rates of 77 percent in volume and 52 percent in value compared to the same period last year, according to MARD.
For the first nine months of 2008, export turnover exceeded US$1 billion, and tra catfish exports for this year are expected to reach over US$1.5 billion.