27 May 2023, VN: On May 24, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) held a seminar “For a sustainable shrimp industry”, aiming to openly “dissect” issues in the shrimp value chain.
According to Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of VASEP, the shrimp industry in particular and seafood in general will face many difficulties and challenges in 2023, and the year goal of reaching USD 10 billion seems difficult to achieve. “In reality, farmers have no need for raising shrimps, they don’t even want to, so many shrimp farming households are forced to sell live shrimp instead of exporting shrimp to Cambodia. This is a fact that the shrimp industry needs to recognize”.
On the other hand, statistics show that there are more than 2,000 breeding establishments, but only more than 1,200 establishments have been granted certificates of eligibility. There is still a very large percentage of shrimp seeds put into circulation that can affect the production of shrimp farmers.
Mr. Nguyen Hoang Anh, Chairman of Binh Thuan Shrimp Seed Association cum Chairman of Nam Mien Trung Group, said that there are currently three issues posed by the shrimp industry at the moment: how to improve the success rate in shrimp farming with the current situation; well control the quality and cost of products in shrimp farming; manage and control standards, quality and value of Vietnamese shrimp. He suggested the VASEP’s leadership act as a pioneer and consider shrimp seeds to be the first target of change.
A complete database for the shrimp industry
“Every place is saying that proactive seed production is good, but why is the shrimp industry not good? That’s the question we need to raise. We are wrong from the number of shrimp seeds to the assessment on shrimp seed production. From there, the planning is not properly conveyed, the planning is rampant,” said the Chairman of Binh Thuan Shrimp Seed Association.
Sharing the same opinion, Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe also acknowledged the current problem of data and statistics on the shrimp industry. Many large shrimp seed facilities do very well, but there are also facilities that do not do a good job. Without a detailed and transparent database, they will all be grouped up as “good but not so good”.
“If the database is constructed well, shrimp farmers will have access to good seed information, the success rate will increase. It’s time to think about a ‘sustainable shrimp alliance’ which provides farmers with reliable sources of information on the basis of interconnected data sources,” said Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe.
VASEP sees the need for more concrete regulations to approach world standards. The association hoped to receive the cooperation of shrimp hatcheries, providing it with transparent information, thereby developing a complete and transparent database to relay information to farming households more timely, as well as full recommendations and decisions on production, processing and export in a more reasonable way.
Shrimp costs must be reduced to the same level as India and Ecuador
According to Mr. Le Van Quang, Director of Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, only by reducing shrimp costs equal to India and Ecuador can Vietnam’s shrimp production chain achieve sustainable development. “There is no other way but to reduce the cost”.
In order to reduce the cost of farming, Mr. Quang said that there must be a concentrated farming procedure and farming area. The national average is only 1-3 ha/household, mainly small-scale farming. Shrimp farming households do not have a separate water supply and drainage channel but instead produce in the same channel, leading to the spread of diseases. Therefore, it is deemed necessary to build large concentrated shrimp production zones with farming technology suitable for each farming model.
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