Woman develops fish sauce co-operative in Kiên Giang

April 09, 2022 - 10:38

Lê Thị Kim Thoa, a director of Hiểu Phát Agricultural Service Co-operative in Phong Đông Commune of Vĩnh Thuận District, is successful to maintain and develop traditional profession.


Lê Thị Kim Thoa introduces her dried fish product. — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Sen

KIÊN GIANG — A woman in southern province Kiên Giang has successfully started her own business making dried fish and shrimps and fish sauce.

Lê Thị Kim Thoa, a director of Hiểu Phát Agricultural Service Co-operative in Phong Đông Commune of Vĩnh Thuận District, believes her business contributes to the province’s economy and creates jobs for local female labourers.

Responding to the movement of starting a business launched by the Women’s Union, Thoa decided to invest in processing dried shrimps and fish.

From the outset, she could process about 150kg of shrimp and fish per day and earn a daily profit of more than VNĐ1 million (US$42).

Initially, she just engaged in processing dried fish and shrimp but then expanded the business to shrimp paste and fish sauce production.

Thoa said that although making dried fish and shrimps brought high profit, the pre-processing was tricky because the material for this stage was only salt.

Though there were many fresh fish and shrimp during the rainy season, it was tough to make them dry, Thoa said.

The preservation time was not long, and dried fish and shrimp were susceptible to mould due to insufficient sun exposure.

So, she made sour shrimp paste and fish sauce from the fresh fish and shrimp.

Thoa not only had the ingenuity to search for and connect customers at fairs and seminars but boldly developed business households into co-operatives to help local people benefit.

Farmed shrimp products were abundant compared to previous years, but the prices were precarious.

With the desire to develop sustainably making fish products in remote areas of Vĩnh Thuận District and solve output issues for farmers and create jobs for local labourers, Thoa decided to buy shrimp from local households.

In recent years, she has researched and marinated spices during pre-processing to make the dried products of good quality and attractive to customers.

In 2021, dried snakehead fish, goby, snakehead fish sauce, sour shrimp paste and dried shrimp of Hiểu Phát Co-operative were recognised by the People’s Committee of Kiên Giang Province as A 3-star OCOP (One Commune, One Product).

She sold 8 tonnes of dried shrimp and 1.5 to 2 tonnes of fish sauce in provinces and cities nationwide.

During the pandemic, the co-operative faced many difficulties in product consumption, so production decreased.

However, Thoa still maintained the co-operative operation and sought solutions to overcome difficulties and keep jobs for workers.

Although the output of dried and sauce products of the co-operative has been stable, the impact of the pandemic saw a decrease in consumption.

Thoa hopes to receive financial support for upcoming projects to implement the business plan properly, expand the market, especially for export, and create jobs for local workers.

This year, the co-operative will invest in several production and packaging lines, as well as designs and driers to make year-round production and improve product quality, ensuring food hygiene to access a broader market, Thoa said.

Võ Thanh Xuân, head of the Communication and Education Commission of Vĩnh Thuận District, said: “The dried shrimp and fish products, sour shrimp paste and snakehead fish sauce are specialities that have existed for a long time in the U Minh Thượng and Vĩnh Thuận.”

“Therefore, the business of Hiểu Phát Co-operative not only maintains the traditional profession but also contributes to the consumption of farmed fish from local farmers at stable prices and creates jobs for rural workers that helps gradually eliminate poverty.”  — VNS