|A farmer works on his shrimp pond which was set up thanks to capital borrowed from the Ha TinhPolicy Bank. Experts said that the State's budget should concentrate on developing infrastructure and logistic facilities for five fishery centres across Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Agriculture a nd Rural Development has recommended that the State's budget concentrate on developing infrastructure and logistic facilities for five regional fishery centres along the Vietnamese coastline.
The five centres are located in coastal provinces of Khanh Hoa, Ba Ria Vung Tau, Kien Giang in the South, Da Nang in the Centre and Hai Phong city in the North.
The recommendation was made at an online conference between Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh and concerned localities to discuss Government Decision 67. The decision set goals for the development of Viet Nam's fishing industry from 2015-2020.
Deputy minister of MARD Vo Vam Tam said 22 cities and 28 provinces directly under the umbrella of Decision 67 had finished compiling their lists of eligible recipients for financial support to upgrade their fishing boats. Commercial banks committed VND243 billion (US$11.5 million) to upgrade 28 of the fishing boats with mortgage term of 11 years and disbursement rate from 60 to 95 per cent.
Fishermen from 21 of the 28 coastal communes in Viet Nam bought insurance policies for their boats, equipment and personal accidents with total amount up to VND2,700 billion ($127.4 million).
The country's effort to build a full fleet of steel-hulled fishing boats is on the right track with more than 50 per cent of the planned fishing boats getting steel-hulls and 60 per cent with more than 800hp.
However, a MARD report indicated that there were limitations to the programme and issues with the current policy.
A number of localities and fishermen experienced difficulty with the administrative procedures required to secure the upgrade funds for their boats.
There have been complaints by fishermen that there were so many legal documents that it made it almost impossibly difficult to follow them all.
Some localities are blamed for failing to co-ordinate efforts and implement supporting policies to boost the development of local fishing industries. Others said they were simply waiting to learn more about what to do before taking steps by themselves.
Issues with current credit policies also arose. Some credit policies offered interest rates at 7 per cent to fishermen but involved too many administrative procedures that it discouraged many from taking advantage of the deal.
Other fishermen weren't eligible for a loan unless they agreed to upgrade their boat engines even if they only wanted the loan to purchase or upgrade fishing equipment.
MARD made several recommendations to improve the effectiveness of policies aimed at boosting the fishing industry, like granting loans without the engine-upgrade requirement if the boat already has at least 400hp, and designing a variety of boat models more compatible with traditional fishing practices. — VNS