Experts have emphasized the need to implement a project to produce high quality tra fish breeds for the Mekong Delta region, which will bring high economic efficiency, improve product quality and develop a national brand to boost the sustainable development of tra fish industry.
Tra fish breeds
Experts said that poor quality strains of the fish have seriously affected the volume produced and harmed the economic efficiency of farming areas in the Mekong Delta region.
The tra fish is the most populous freshwater species in the region and the second most important Vietnamese export in the seafood sector, only second to shrimp.
A strategy has been worked out to develop An Giang into a hi-tech centre to supply high quality breeds for households in the Mekong Delta region.
The Mekong Delta region is currently home to over 100 artificial reproduction centres for tra fish and nearly 1,900 tra fish breeders households covering an area of about 1,500 ha.
It is estimated that over 16 billion tra fish are produced each most of which originating from Dong Thap, An Giang and Can Tho. An Giang in particular is the largest producing region of tra fish in the Mekong delta region, with output reaching 1.5 -4 billion fish breeds per year.
However, in recent years, the quality of the breeds has significantly decreased.
Nguyen Thanh Tung, director of the Institute for Fisheries Economics and Planning under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development attributed the unstable supply source to the market to the low quality of breeds, the prominence of diseases and scattered nature of the production process.
It is essential to enhance better coordination, which he believes, will enable higher quality fish to be bred in turn helping the sustainable development of the tra fish industry, he said.
The Prime Minister recently assigned An Giang province to develop a project to produce high quality breeds for the Mekong Delta region and devise orientations to turn An Giang into a hi-tech centre for tra fish high quality breeds.
Lam Quang Thi, vice chairman of The An Giang Province People’s Committee said An Giang is one of the cradles of tra fish breeds and houses the largest production plant in the country.
Mr Thi also underlined the importance of ensuring an all encompassing strategy for tra fish development, from producing higher quality breeds to seeking outlets for tra fish in order to turn it into a national product.
In a recent seminar to address the issue of declining standards, participants underscored the necessity of carrying out the project to produce high quality breeds at three levels for the Mekong Delta region. These measures will enhance economic efficiency, improve the overall product quality and improve the tra fish brand.
Dang Quoc Tuan, Deputy Managing Director of the Vietnam – Australia Group said businesses will play a leading role with in the drive for higher standards. Their financial muscle and management skills will assist in the search for advanced technologies and solutions for development.
He advised farmers directly involved with the production of tra fish to adopt a more open-minded approach to the application of advanced technologies in production. He also highlighted the need for a coherent strategy laid out by the state for the industry to follow in order to produce higher quality generations of fish and ensure sustainable development.
Vu Van Tam, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said the tra fish industry aims to provide around 50% of the demand for breeds by 2020 and 70% by 2025, equivalent to 2.5-2.8 billion of tra fish breeds for localities in the Mekong Delta region.
He added that creating a good source of breeds has played an important role in production of tra fish, noting that all relevant agencies need to co-ordinate in order to produce tra fish breeds at three levels.
The MARD plans to fine-tune technical standards from production conditions, varieties, and tra fish production chain, national brand building, origin traceability, to meet all market requirements especially from the demanding markets.