December 10, 2008


Ca Mau province aims to become Vietnam's major seafood exporter


The southernmost province of Ca Mau in Vietnam aims to become the country's largest aquaculture exporter as it targets export revenues of US$1 billion by 2010.


In 2009, the province is eyeing a US$750 million in seafood export earnings, an increase of 17 percent against this year.


To achieve the goal, the province will attempt to raise shrimp exports to 80 percent from the current 63 percent of the total aquaculture exports over the next two years.


Funds from the public budgets are also being used to build irrigation facilities to increase shrimp quality and output. In the first eight months of this year, Ca Mau netted 69,000 tonnes of shrimp, the biggest output in Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region.


The shrimp farming area has been expanded to 250,000 hectares. Advanced farming techniques are also being used to increase output.


Local authorities have encouraged investors to build processing plants to increase total capacity to 157,000 tonnes of seafood next year.


Local processors will likewise diversify seafood farming by raising fish, squids and crabs.


Officials said apart from the expansion of shrimp farms, a steady supply of materials and reasonable prices for farmers must be provided.


Trade promotion should be focused on key traditional markets including the US, the EU and Japan, as well as potential exporting countries such as Australia, Canada, Russia, China and South Korea.


Industry officials also said the domestic market must not be ignored as it holds a major share in the aquaculture industry's total turnover.


They urged the industry to hold more trade fairs and exhibitions and ensure that ways of delivery and payment are in line with the World Trade Organization commitments.


The seafood industry has earned US$4.27 billion from exports thus far this year, US$0.7 billion higher than targeted.


Despite the global financial crisis, the industry aims to reach US$4.3 billion by the end of the year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors.

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