Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường hosts a shrimp production conference in Sóc Trăng Province on May 8. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Hiếu
HÀ NỘI — Though the brackish-water shrimp industry in 2020 has faced many challenges due to extreme weather and the COVID-19 pandemic, leader of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is still optimistic.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường told a conference on Friday it held with Sóc Trăng Province and eight other coastal provinces in the Mekong Delta region, as well as the associations of Seafood Processing Enterprises, that shrimp production had suffered due to extreme weather, saline water intrusion and drought, as well as the pandemic.
He also mentioned opportunities and prospects for the development of the brackish shrimp industry in 2020, adding: “The shrimp industry will enjoy more favourable tax policies after the Việt Nam – EU FTA (EVFTA) is ratified.”
The minister said the industry should turn risks into opportunities and strive to export more products this year.
He thought State management in the industry must be tight and told firms to be actively developing.
In 2020, the brackish-water shrimp industry plans to raise 730,000 hectares with an estimated yield of 830,000 tonnes of products and export turnover of US$3.5 billion, an increase of two to three per cent compared to 2019.
In response, participants at the conference thought MARD and localities with large areas of shrimp farms should have drastic measures to cope with saline water intrusion, monitor environmental warnings and epidemic prevention.
In addition, they said there should be stricter management on input materials with regular inspections and evaluations of aquatic breed production and trading facilities, ensuring they provide good breeds for shrimp to improve the exported products of Việt Nam.
Participants also thought MARD should help them with advanced farming technology, efficient and sustainable production models especially in the context of COVID-19 so local products could be more competitive.
Furthermore, they need to have more updated market and price information to develop the products for export.
According to the General Department of Fisheries, the extreme weather conditions this year will be the cause of disease outbreaks for shrimp while the drought and salinity in the first few months led many shrimp farmers to reduce their production. By the end of April 2020, shrimp farming area in Việt Nam reached more than 480,000 hectares, equal to nearly 85 per cent over the same period in 2019.
MARD thought the sharply reduced taxes for shrimp from the EVFTA expected in the next few months will create high hopes for local shrimp exports to the EU.— VNS