Boosting consumption of tra fish in domestic market

by NDO07 October 2020 Last updated at 19:10 PM

Tra fish harvesting in Long Xuyen, An Giang province. (Photo: THANH PHONG)
Tra fish harvesting in Long Xuyen, An Giang province. (Photo: THANH PHONG)

VTV.vn - Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the export value of Vietnamese tra fish to other markets has decreased significantly while inventory levels have increased. Many enterprises have promoted fish consumption in the domestic market.

According to the Vietnam Pangasius Association, the total area of tra fish farming in the Mekong Delta province is nearly 2,000ha, down 13% while the total harvested area is 1,844ha, down 21% compared to 2019. The volume of tra fish was posted at 615,000 tonnes, down 17% over the same period in 2019.

The export revenue of tra fish reached US$667.5 million in the first six months of this year, down 30.6% over the same period in 2019.

In addition, export revenue of tra fish to major markets by the first half of August had fallen compared to the corresponding period in 2019, including the China – Hong Kong market (down 22.6%), the US market (down 20.2%), the ASEAN market (down 57.6%) and the EU market (down 36.2%).

Chairman of the Vietnam Pangasius Association Duong Nghia Quoc said that the COVID-19 pandemic has strongly affected the tra fish sector with sharp declines in the farming and harvest areas and in the output and export revenue of tra fish.

Moreover, the inventory levels of enterprises have risenand they have to rent cold warehouses to store products.The quality of breeding tra fish is also declining, resulting in high loss rates in the farming period and low production efficiencies.

Deputy General Director of TG Fishery Holdings Corporation, Ong Hang Van, said that the companycurrently exports only 50-60% of their processed goods while they still have to pay taxes, warehouse fees and production costs to maintain jobs for workers.

According to seafood experts, many synchronous solutions should be implemented to ease the difficulties for tra fish production and export including State support regarding taxes, banking loans, insurance, finance and administrative procedures.

Meanwhile, tra fish exporters need to focus on developing their established markets, particularly the US, the EU, China and ASEAN markets while also promotingdomestic consumption.

Since early this year, a number of enterprises have concentrated on boosting the domestic market and Nam Viet Corporation (Navico) in An Giang province is a good example. Navico sells about 100 – 200 tonnes of tra fish to domestic partners each month and the company expects to sell a total 1,000 tonnes of tra fish by the end of this year.

The company has a diverse range of tra fish products including grilled chopped fish, fish pieces, fillets, whole fish and others. The consumption of tra fish in the domestic market is reducing export pressure for enterprises by 20-30%.

The Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has promoted the connection between enterprises and the consumption of agricultural and aquatic products in the domestic marketthrough a series of promotional activities in May and June 2020 including the organisation of an agricultural products week at Big C Thang Long and Can Tho and a seafood and tra fish trade fair in Hanoi, among others.

Thanks to these events, several companies in the North such as the Bac Ha company under Hanoi Agricultural Development and Investment Company (HADICO) have partnered with Navico to sell their tra fish products and continue to find other customers to sign purchasing contracts with in the North. By the end of July 2020, the Bac Ha company had more than 30 agents across manydistricts in Hanoi who consume about 100 tonnes of trafish per month. The consumption of tra fish is expected to increase to 230 tonnes per month by the year’s end.

Tra fish processing companies in the South are diversifying their processed fish products to make them more suitable to the tastes of Northern consumers, promising new strides in bringing tra fish products to the domestic market, particularly the Hanoi market of nearly nine million people.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has directed the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries to collaborate with related associations and tra fish enterprises to promote linkages and the consumption of tra fish in the domestic sector.

The Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries has worked with localities and factories to review the farming areas of trafish in order to balance supply and demand and guide farmers on how to maintain the seeding of tra fish to ensure raw materials for tra fish processing and export in the first and second quarter of 2021.

The Directorate of Fisheries will also work with the Domestic Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade to boost the distribution of tra fish products at supermarket chains and via online channels to serve domestic consumers.


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