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Conference discusses global shrimp demand, Vietnam’s supply capacity

There is room for the development of Vietnam’s shrimp sector thanks to favourable farming conditions and increasing global demand, heard a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on August 23.

At the event entitled “Global shrimp demand and Vietnam’s supply capacity to 2025”, experts stressed the industry still faces challenges.

Ho Quang Luc, former Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), noted that Vietnam has a large area of 700,000 hectares for shrimp farming.

“Due to favourable weather, Vietnamese farmers can raise shrimp all year round,” he said, adding that local farmers’ skills exceed the global average.

The country also has great processing potential, with nearly 100 shrimp processing factories, generating about 500,000 tonnes of products every year, he added.

Despite its potential and support from the Government and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), shrimp farmers still face poor infrastructure, low-quality shrimp breeders and high farming costs, among others.

“It is necessary to have a detailed farming plan, adequate investment in infrastructure, a national parent-shrimp production programme, and strict control of the shrimp supply system,” he recommended.

Hoang Tung, an expert at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, addressed issues surrounding the Government plan that targets all steps of the value chain and an export turnover target of 10 billion USD in 2025.

He said the government should place emphasis on higher-quality inputs, improvement of farming and harvesting, and innovative business models. This would ensure higher productivity, lower production costs and increased domestic consumption, he said.

Tung hoped that the Lower Mekong Initiative, which aims to transform the livelihoods of 10,000 households via more sustainable shrimp farming between 2019 and 2029, will be carried out efficiently.

The initiative is a collaborative project between CSIRO, MARD and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Experts at the conference also spoke about the world shrimp market and the gap in supply and demand, consumption trends, competitiveness of Vietnamese shrimp in the EU market, and analysis of export competitors.