Shrimp farmers in some Mekong Delta provinces including Bac Lieu will have easy access to loans if they partner with enterprises to promote sustainable shrimp production and value chain development.
Dinh Xuan Lap, deputy director of the International Collaborating Centre for Aquaculture and Fisheries Sustainability (ICAFIS), said shrimp farmers find it hard to borrow from banks as they have no assets as collateral.
Bac Lieu had the largest shrimp farming area in the country with 19,500 hectares in 2016, of which more than 3,200 hectares of over 2,300 households were underfunded, according to local media reports.
Therefore, ICAFIS has launched a sustainable and equitable shrimp production and value chain development project in Bac Lieu, Soc Trang and Ca Mau provinces. The three provinces account for 93% of the total shrimp farming acreage and 84.4% of shrimp output of the country.
The project is expected to benefit about 20,000 shrimp breeders and 30 small and medium enterprises in the provinces.
Bac Lieu government on August 14 ordered the implementation of the project. The pilot project would be carried out at three companies in the province – Southern Shrimp, Au Vung and Thien Phu.
The province also proposed the Bac Lieu branch of the State Bank of Vietnam direct commercial banks in the province to create favorable conditions for farmers to take out loans. Land and landed assets can be mortgaged for loans.
Lap added authorities should come up with solutions to build links between farmers and enterprises to guarantee sustainable production.
All shrimp farming localities have strong financial demand, so ICAFIS will continue working with Ca Mau and Soc Trang provinces to help farmers and companies gain easier access to capital.
In related news, white-legged shrimp prices in Bac Lieu now range from VND185,000 (US$8.14) to VND205,000 a kilo. The prices in Ca Mau and Soc Trang this week are also VND2,000-3,000 higher than in the previous week.
Rising prices have led farmers to expand shrimp farming. However, farmers have pumped seawater into freshwater fish farms for white-legged shrimp cultivation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on August 16 wrote to these southern provinces warning of the consequences of this farming practice and telling them to stop white-legged shrimp cultivation in freshwater farms.
Ngoc Hung- The Saigon Time.