Shrimp-processing firms will not be allowed to operate if they use less than 10 percent of their own raw materials, the Directorate of Fisheries has proposed.

The aim is to improve quality of shrimp exports, it has said.

The remaining 90 percent of the raw materials for the shrimp processors would be supplied through consumption contracts authenticated by Government agencies, according to the proposal.

Shrimp production at a Southern enterprise. (Photo for illustration). Source: Vietnam+

The Directorate of Fisheries is drawing up a draft managerial plan for the production, processing and export of brackish-water shrimp in the Mekong River Delta.

According to the Directorate of Fisheries, by the end of last year, the Mekong River Delta had about 596,000 ha under shrimp farming, accounting for 91 percent of the country's total brackish-water shrimp-farming area.

The region produces about 431,570 tonnes of brackish shrimp a year, but the output has met only 60-70 percent of designed capacity of shrimp processing plants in the region.

Due to raw material shortage, many processing plants have had to operate under their designed capacity, with many of them having to import raw materials from other countries, it said.

Vietnam has nearly 200 enterprises involved in processing and exporting shrimp with a combined processing capacity of nearly one million tonnes of products a year, as of the end of last year.

Only a few firms have invested to develop their own material sources. Most shrimp processing plants have bought shrimp from traders who purchase them from farmers.

The directorate said collecting shrimp from various small sources had resulted in inconsistent quality, making it hard to monitor chemical residues and trace the origin of the shrimp.

In addition, unhealthy competitive practices in purchasing materials, and in processing and exporting, had affected the prestige of Vietnamese shrimp in the world market.

The draft proposal requires shrimp export firms to register export volume, quality and price with authorised agencies under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Firms will not be allowed to sell their products lower than the floor price set by MARD's agencies in each market.

If firms are found offering selling prices lower than the set price or selling poor quality products, they will be strictly punished, or be suspended from exporting.

Under the draft project, shrimp farmers must follow farming regulations set out by MARD.

The Directorate of Fisheries' project also aims to have all planned shrimp-farming areas in the Mekong Delta apply Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices.

The directorate is now collecting opinions for the draft.

Source: VNA