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Posts Tagged ‘Salt’

Salt farmers struggle despite ministry’s policy

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

Although the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development directed the Bac Lieu Salt and Trading Company to purchase over 30,000 tons of salt from farmers in the Mekong delta province of Bac Lieu, currently with 200,000 tons in stock, two weeks later, the company had only bought a small quantity of salt.

Salt farmers in Bac Lieu province have bumper harvest but can’t sell as the company only purchase white clean salt but farmers have more black variety (Photo: SGGP)

Company director Ho Thanh Tuan admitted his firm had only bought 1,000 tons of salt, despite the Ministry request to collect 10,000 tons of clean salt, justifying the tardiness on a lack of funds and means of transportation.


Tuan said that next week the salt company would pay salt makers and cooperatives money at their homes, with government representative there as witnesses and then would collect the salt afterwards.


As happy as salt farmers were to hear the government mandate for companies to buy their overstocked salt, they became even more disappointed when the company only sought to buy clean, white salt, as they had produced more black salt more than the white variety.


Dong Hai District salt farmer Do Van Thiet was in despair because he has produced 40 tons of salt, but has sold only half that quantity.


Most salt farmers in the region have borrowed money, which they spent immediately, promising to repay the loans when after harvesting salt. Thus, they have been forced to sell their salt to traders at very low prices, desperate to pay debts.


Moreover, the hard work of farmers will go unrewarded if it rains over the salt fields, where they have invested much time and effort, their hopes now in danger of washing away in the rain.


To escape this plight, many salt farmers have left the countryside to seek jobs faraway from home. Truong Van Luom and Ha Van Duoc have relocated to Ho Chi Minh City to make money.


Despite selling 800 tons of white salt at VND700 per kilogram at fields, Nguyen Van Minh, deputy head of Diem Nghiep Cooperative, still complained that farmers in his cooperative have profited less than they would have had they grown rice; worse, farmers have grown large quantities of black salt, which fetches VND300 a kilogram, but has attracted very few buyers.


Phan Minh Quang, vice director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said a solution is needed to help farmers escape their present plight; otherwise, the ministry’s policy to purchase salt from farmers would fail completely.


Related article:
Mekong salt makers can’t sell bumper harvest

Source: SGGP

Mekong salt makers can’t sell bumper harvest

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Although the government instructed companies to stockpile salt, salt farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu, the region’s salt production hub, are still facing losses on the heels of a good harvest.

Salt makers transport salt to a warehouse of the Bac Lieu Commercial JSC (Photo: SGGP)

Three weeks ago, Ho Xuan Hung, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, ordered companies to buy salt from farmers, who currently have 200,000 tons in stock.

However, the Bac Lieu Salt and Trading Company has only been buying white salt while around 80 percent of the stock for sale is black, according to Phan Minh Quang, vice director of the Bac Lieu province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Now these farmers can barely feed themselves.


Hoa Binh District salt farmer Nguyen Van Phuoc was in despair on July 13: “My family makes only traditional black salt but the firm [Bac Lieu Salt and Trading Company] is only purchasing white salt. I had to resign myself to sell salt at VND300 a kilogram to local traders as a last resort to have a little money for food.”


His fellow Tran Van Thoai in district Dong Hai complained he was still waiting for buyers as his 70 tons of salt were all black.


The flip side of the coin is that white salt producers are also furious at the company for paying lower rates than had been announced earlier.


The Government had preciously stated it that white salt would be bought for VND900- VND1000/kg and that farmers who transported the salt to the buyers would receive VND150 a kilogram extra.


But many farmers, including Hoa Binh’s Nguyen Van Thong, said the company has broken the rule and is only buying white salt at VND900 no matter what, even when farmers transport the product themselves.


But Mr. Quang argued that farmers could profit by selling at VND900 because they had bumper harvest this year. He said Bac Lieu Salt and Trading Company would certainly buy more salt in the future.

Source: SGGP

90 percent of Americans eat too much salt: study

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 4:50 am

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2010 (AFP) – Only one in 10 Americans keep their salt intake within recommended levels, with the rest overstepping the limits and risking high blood pressure and heart ailments, a CDC report said Thursday.


The Atlanta, Georgia-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the average daily sodium intake of Americans was 3,466 milligrams, twice as much as recommended in health authorities’ guidelines.


Americans in good health are advised to consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, while people with high blood pressure, all middle-age and older adults and all African-Americans should limit their intake to 1,500 milligrams.


The CDC study found that only 9.6 percent of the US population fall within the sodium intake guidelines, including 5.5 percent of the group limited to 1,500 milligrams and 18.8 percent of the 2,300 milligrams per day group.


It also determined that 77 percent of the salt eaten by Americans comes from processed and restaurant foods, especially pizza, breads and cookies that “may not even taste salty.”


“Sodium has become so pervasive in our food supply that it’s difficult for the vast majority of Americans to stay within recommended limits,” said the study’s lead author Janelle Peralez Gunn.


The study coincides with a Food and Drug Administration review of daily sodium guidelines, which experts recommend should be lower than they are.

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Source: SGGP

Ministry plans massive salt purchase to prop up prices

In Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Quality standards imposed on salt imports

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm




Quality standards imposed on salt imports


QĐND – Sunday, May 09, 2010, 22:4 (GMT+7)

The Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Finance to work on quality, safety and hygiene standards for imported salt.


He also asked the above ministries to curb cheating on the importation of salt, and to propose ways of adjusting import taxes on salt that is imported beyond the legal set quota.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade set the 2010 national customs quota for salt imports at 260,000 tonnes. To date, the Ministry of Finance has allocated quotas totalling 140,000 tonnes to different businesses.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Agricultural officials meet to help salt makers

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm




Agricultural officials meet to help salt makers


QĐND – Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 21:39 (GMT+7)


The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development met May 4 to discuss helping salt makers in Can Gio District who have been hard by cheap imports.

At the meeting, Phan Thanh Thuoc, chairman of Tien Thanh salt cooperative in Can Gio District, said that the cooperative had a bumper crop this year thanks to a new production method in which workers produce salt on nylon canvas instead of directly on the ground.


The new production method has doubled salt output over last year to reach 120 tons per hectare. And the salt grains are much purer, salt farmers said.


However, a kilogram of salt now sells for just around VND700, compared to VND1,700 last year, thanks to a wave of salt imports, many from India.


Though the cooperative had been able to sell its salt – because of it’s higher quality – only 50 hectares in Can Gio are using the nylon canvas method, meaning that 1,500 hectares in the district were employing other farming practices.


Most farmers outside the cooperative still produce salt with traditional methods, which yield lower outputs and fetch lower prices. They can’t compete with cheaper imports.


Mr. Thuoc said that the cooperative had already bought all salt made by its members and a small portion produced outside the group. But it does not have enough money to buy and process more for sale.


According to Government regulations, the cooperative is only allowed to borrow an amount that does not exceed the capital contributed by its members, about VND3 billion (US$158,000).


Although the cooperative is able to consume more salt and its loan projects have been deemed very feasible by the Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development, the cooperative has not been able to take more loans.


Mr. Thuoc said the cooperative built a salt processing plant in 2009 and several food processing companies have bought salt made by the cooperative instead of importing from Thailand, India, and China.


The cooperative’s four warehouses now can accommodate an extra of 4,000 tons of salt but they are empty.


Lack of salt, prices plunge


Tran Quang Phung, chairman and general director of Southern Salt Group, who is also chairman of southern salt association, said Korean companies loved to make kimchi with Can Gio salt.


He said it was because the taste of Can Gio salt was not as sharp as salt from Central Vietnam.


The group exports about 60,000 tons of Can Gio salt to Korea annually, however in recent years, the group could not find enough high quality salt to process this year.


Mr.Phung said that several farmers outside the collective focused only on quantity not quality. As a result, the salt grains are mixed with soil and are slightly yellow in color.


He also said that even though the local supply of salt was short, prices were falling due to import policies that let too much foreign salt into Vietnam.


To help salt makers, Nguyen Trong Liem, official from the Agriculture and Rural Development, said that his department would coordinate with the city’s Agricultural Consultation and Assistance Center to organize a conference of salt processing businesses to discuss buying salt from farmers through preferential-interest loans.


Mr. Liem also said that his sub-department would also assist the Tien Thanh salt cooperative to sell its salt products to supermarkets in the city and other provinces.


The sub-department will also petition the Government to limit salt imports, Liem said.


The southern salt association has said that the Government should discharge quotas granted to businesses and has proposed the common taxes of 50 percent to help domestic salt production.

Source: SGGP

Source: QDND

Agricultural officials meet to help salt makers

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 12:38 pm

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development met May 4 to discuss helping salt makers in Can Gio District who have been hard by cheap imports.

Farmers harvest salt in Can Gio District, HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

At the meeting, Phan Thanh Thuoc, chairman of Tien Thanh salt cooperative in Can Gio District, said that the cooperative had a bumper crop this year thanks to a new production method in which workers produce salt on nylon canvas instead of directly on the ground.


The new production method has doubled salt output over last year to reach 120 tons per hectare. And the salt grains are much purer, salt farmers said.


However, a kilogram of salt now sells for just around VND700, compared to VND1,700 last year, thanks to a wave of salt imports, many from India.


Though the cooperative had been able to sell its salt – because of it’s higher quality – only 50 hectares in Can Gio are using the nylon canvas method, meaning that 1,500 hectares in the district were employing other farming practices.


Most farmers outside the cooperative still produce salt with traditional methods, which yield lower outputs and fetch lower prices. They can’t compete with cheaper imports.


Mr. Thuoc said that the cooperative had already bought all salt made by its members and a small portion produced outside the group. But it does not have enough money to buy and process more for sale.


According to Government regulations, the cooperative is only allowed to borrow an amount that does not exceed the capital contributed by its members, about VND3 billion (US$158,000).


Although the cooperative is able to consume more salt and its loan projects have been deemed very feasible by the Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development, the cooperative has not been able to take more loans.


Mr. Thuoc said the cooperative built a salt processing plant in 2009 and several food processing companies have bought salt made by the cooperative instead of importing from Thailand, India, and China.


The cooperative’s four warehouses now can accommodate an extra of 4,000 tons of salt but they are empty.


Lack of salt, prices plunge


Tran Quang Phung, chairman and general director of Southern Salt Group, who is also chairman of southern salt association, said Korean companies loved to make kimchi with Can Gio salt.


He said it was because the taste of Can Gio salt was not as sharp as salt from Central Vietnam.


The group exports about 60,000 tons of Can Gio salt to Korea annually, however in recent years, the group could not find enough high quality salt to process this year.


Mr.Phung said that several farmers outside the collective focused only on quantity not quality. As a result, the salt grains are mixed with soil and are slightly yellow in color.


He also said that even though the local supply of salt was short, prices were falling due to import policies that let too much foreign salt into Vietnam.


To help salt makers, Nguyen Trong Liem, official from the Agriculture and Rural Development, said that his department would coordinate with the city’s Agricultural Consultation and Assistance Center to organize a conference of salt processing businesses to discuss buying salt from farmers through preferential-interest loans.


Mr. Liem also said that his sub-department would also assist the Tien Thanh salt cooperative to sell its salt products to supermarkets in the city and other provinces.


The sub-department will also petition the Government to limit salt imports, Liem said.


The southern salt association has said that the Government should discharge quotas granted to businesses and has proposed the common taxes of 50 percent to help domestic salt production.

Source: SGGP

Salt intrusion plaguing Mekong residents

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2010 at 7:08 am

Seawater penetration in Mekong Delta provinces is likely to rise in the coming days, causing damage to crop-growing land and fish farms, while leaving residents with a lack of freshwater for daily activities.

Drought conditions and seawater penetration have been increasing over the past few days in the Mekong Delta (File Photo: thesaigontimes)

According to the National Hydro Meteorological Forecast Center, water levels at the upper reaches of the Mekong River will continue climbing on April 1-2, and then gradually fall in the days to follow.


When this occurs, saltwater from the ocean will likely encroach further inland.


In An Giang Province, water levels in Tan Chau town could drop to 0.25 meters while in Chau Doc town levels could decrease to 0.35 meters, 0.06 meters lower than in previous years during the same period.


Local authorities have dredged canals so that farmers can pump water for their fields and access freshwater for daily activities.


Cao Van Trong, deputy chairman of the Ben Tre Province People’s Committee, said the province would order water suppliers to stop selling to ice producers in order to give priority to households in drought areas.


To help those living in coastal areas and islands access freshwater when droughts occur, Tien Giang Province has decided to invest over VND600 million (US$30,000) in water transship pipes to households and will install 41 public water supply stations.


In the wake of the long, hot streak, people in the island commune of Nam Du in Kien Hai District of Kien Giang Province have had to rely on water supplies from inland An Son Commune, with each cubic meter of water costing VND125,000.

Source: SGGP

Salt imports ‘not harming local sales’

In Vietnam Economy on March 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm




Salt imports ‘not harming local sales’


QĐND – Monday, March 15, 2010, 20:48 (GMT+7)

The fall in domestic salt prices, which is badly hurting farmers has not been caused by imports that the government has allowed, affirms Nguyen Thanh Bien, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade.


Bien told a recent press conference that the huge imported volumes of salt were not covered by the ministry’s quota. “Only 20,000 out of 75,000 tonnes of salt that have already been imported belongs to the quota,” Bien said.


“The amount accounts for only 17 percent of the total issued quota,” he said, explaining that salt could be imported into the country in two ways: using the ministry’s quota for low tax rates and unlimited quantities at the normal tax rate.


A total of 170,000 tonnes of salt are expected to be imported during this period of this year. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has issued quotas for 146,000 tonnes while another 24,000 tonnes are awaiting allocation.


Meanwhile, thousands of tonnes of salt produced by farmers in the Mekong Delta are piling up with no dealers visiting the farms despite the sharp fall in prices.


The ministry’s Export and Import Department said this year’s quota for the import of salt was 260,000 tonnes, consisting of 180,000 tonnes of industrial salt used to produce chemicals and 80,000 tonnes for consumption.


Local newspapers late February cited experts blaming the quota as the reason for the fall in salt prices.


Mai Thanh Hung, deputy head of a district’s agriculture and rural development department in Bac Lieu province, said the locality was struggling to sell 32,000 tonnes of harvested salt.


Source: VNS


Source: QDND