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Mekong Delta fisheries ‘require $2.8 billion for sustainable growth'

Update: October, 29/2012 - 11:00


Farmers catch dieu hong fish for breeding purposes at a pond in Thot Not District in southern Ca Mau Province. The Mekong River Delta needs US$2.88 billion to develop the local fisheries sector. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
CAN THO (VNS)— The Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta will need around VND60 trillion (US$2.88 billion) to sustainably develop the local fisheries sector, officials said at a conference held in Can Tho City late last week.

The State Budget contribution for this outlay will be used in developing fisheries infrastructure, they said.

They will try to tap FDI (foreign direct investment) as well as ODA (official development assistance) funding for other fisheries development projects, they added.

Vu Van Tam, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said to ensure sustainable development of the local fisheries sector, delta localities must prepare scientific and specific plans for all processes including production, processing and export of seafood, particularly tra fish and shrimp.

If they do this, they would be able to manage the entire value chain better, ensuring profit distribution and risk sharing in the fairest way possible, Tam said.

He said that the delta fisheries sector has great potential to attract investment from domestic and foreign investors, apart from State Budget disbursements.

Tam said provinces and cities in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region should create close linkages among themselves by setting up a fisheries development centre with Can Tho City as the hub.

Can Tho City has the right conditions to be developed into a fisheries hub for the delta since it has well-developed transport infrastructure linking regional localities by road, water and air. It also has several scientific and technological research institutes and training centres, Tam said.

If Can Tho hosts the delta's fisheries development centre, it would have a common fisheries market for the delta, a marine produce processing complex and a freshwater produce trading floor. It would also include research institutes and a human-resource development centre.

To realise this plan, the Government needs to issue incentive policies to encourage investments outside the State Budget.

"The agriculture ministry will submit a master plan for fisheries development until 2020 to the Government for approval. If the Government approves it, the plan will provide a legal framework for establishment of the centre," Tam said.

Dang Huy Dong, deputy minister of Planning and Investment, agreed with Tam, saying the Cuu Long Delta Fisheries Development Centre should be set up in a way that it can function as an effective link for the fisheries industry in the delta region.

Furthermore, he said, an agency specialising in regulating tra fish production and processing should be set up.

"The ministry plans to call on domestic and overseas enterprises to further invest into the delta's fisheries sector with the main focus on infrastructure facilities," Dong said. — VNS

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