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Farmers earn big time from selling catfishes to US

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:33 am

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill problem rocketed price of exported catfish fillet to the US market, helping local farmer to gain big profits.


“We are taking pretty good profits from the surging catfish prices,” said Nguyen Van Mung, a catfish farmer in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap.

Local seafood producers exporting catfish fillet to the US market bought small catfishes with an average weight of 750-850 gram strongly at very high prices, he said.

“Farming costs this year was reduced significantly as we sold young catfish,” Mung said, adding that this year’s harvest time was 1-2 months sooner than previous years.

Mung gained a net profit of more than VND2 billion (US$100,000) from selling 700 tons of catfishes at the price of VND22,000 ($1) per kilogram, the highest gain in the last three years.

It usually takes farmers 6-7 months to farm catfishes for European and Asian markets. The US people preferred small catfishes, which are around 4-5 months old, so the profit from this market is better, Mung said.  

“Catfish farmer can make a profit of VND3,000-4,000 per kilogram from the current price offered by seafood exporters,” said veteran farmer Nguyen Van Thanh in the adjacent province of An Giang.

Statistics showed that export turnover of Vietnam’s seafood in October rose 20 percent year-on-year to $532 million. The turnover in the first 11 months of the year reached to the highest ever of $4.5 billion, only $3 billion lower than the year’s target. Analysts said the exported catfish fillet price of $4-4.2 per kilogram would ensure a booming harvest to local farmers.

However, the Mekong Delta Agriculture and Rural Development Department warned that farmers still have to deal with many problems after this year’s harvest time, including the lack of reinvestment and the increase in costs of fish foods and medicine.

Farmers said most of them had to borrow money from banks as it cost a huge investment of VND18-20 billion to breed 1,000 tons of catfishes. Borrowers can now expect to pay 16-18 percent interest on loans, up from 13-14 percent just a few weeks ago.

Banks favor co-operatives
The current lending rate of 16-18 percent is the biggest obstacle for local exporters, said Nguyen Van Dao, director of the seafood maker Go Dang. Some exporters said many lenders were not willing to offer loans to them.

Asia Commercial Bank (ACB)’s Can Tho Province branch, meanwhile, said they still loaned catfish exporters. But they restrained to provide loans for individual farmers, who they struggled to supervise.

The branch said they could consider to loan farmers, who cooperate with co-operatives outsourcing for seafood producers. 

Source: SGGP

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