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Tra Fish Set for Global GAP

Cập nhật: 21/03/2011 09:33
Harvesting Tra fish in Can Tho

(VEN) - For years now, the Tra fish industry in Vietnam has improved rapidly in quality to keep up with the growing need for food safety/hygiene in the world market.

New farming models have been in place, with fish farms set up under transparent zoning plans and away from residential areas. Water must be purified for 2-3 days in ponds before running to Tra fish farms, while waste water there must be treated carefully before going out so as not to pollute the environment.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) said that Tra fish farming in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has improved since farmers have allied with enterprises to produce fish on an agreement basis following international standard.
Apart from Tra fish farms that have observed Global GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) standard, fish farming households have seriously followed the requirements for food safety/hygiene. Unlike before when Tra fish was raised in cages in rivers, farmers are now breeding Tra fish in ponds where water and the environment is good for the fish to grow.
As the investment capital is much, Tra fish farmers will go bankrupt unless they meet standard and enterprises buy their products. Tra fish producers/sellers are very concerned about the quality of fish, sales and the selling price in hard-to-please markets. The Sai Gon - Mekong Seafood Company in Tra Vinh Province has recently netted 250 tonnes of fish that meets the standard for export to Europe and the US. Prior to that, the company harvested hundreds of tonnes of Global GAP-standard Tra fish and sold it abroad at a high price.
VASEP said that clean fish production is 20-25 percent more expensive than average, but sales is always good. For now, a number of farming households have found it difficult to make a record of fish production. This is why they are hesitant to raise Tra fish under Global GAP-standard.
So far, about 20 enterprises and 40 Tra fish farms have received Global GAP certificates, while many others are looking to obtain them. It is expected that 100 percent of Tra fish farms will meet the standard in 2015.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said that Vietnamese Tra fish takes number-one advantage in the world market. Because Vietnamese Tra fish exports are very competitive globally, they face difficulties from foreign rivals. To solve the problem, the Vietnamese Tra fish industry needs to improve product quality, rather than increase quantity. Provinces need to shrink small fish farms and develop large fish farms under strict management regulations.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will increase technical support, while buyers, producers and exporters will tighten their ties to improve product quality and increase the value of Tra fish.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has adopted a strategy for planning and developing Tra fish production/trading in the Mekong Delta in 2010, with a vision to 2020. Following the strategy, commercial Tra fish farming has expanded to nine provinces and cities in the delta including An Giang, Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Can Tho, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Ben Tre and Tra Vinh.
It is expected that Tra fish production in the delta will increase to 6,300ha and 1.2-1.3 million tonnes, and Tra fish exports will come to US$1.45-1.55 billion this year./.
By Nguyen Tien Dung

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