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Vietnam’s tra fish will have bar codes   2009-07-23 - TBKTVN, VnMedia

The steering committee on production and consumption of tra fish in the Mekong Delta has urged localities to give bar codes to tra fish, saying this is very important for the sustainable development of the industry.


The steering committee has organised a meeting to discuss measures for the sustainable development of tra farming, processing and exporting.


According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the establishment of the steering committee shows the importance of tra fish, which is considered a strategic commodity of the Mekong Delta and the whole country.


The steering committee has emphasised that coding tra fish proves to be a necessary thing which comes in accordance with the long-term and sustainable development strategy. To date, farmers just try to farm and sell fish, while they have not paid attention to ‘cultivation diaries’. Therefore, they do not know how to trace origin and where to find errors when troubles occur.


Nguyen Van Thanh, Director of An Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that farming households will keep records about tra farming which include information about fish breeders, nutrition, medicine, feed, farming area conditions, so that they can be given bar codes.


Thanh said that government agencies will join forces with a private company in the field to give instructions to farmers.


“Fish buyers will be able to trace the origin of a fish easily when they look at the bar codes. If necessary, they will be able to find out information about the farming environment and other conditions,” Thanh said. “You can trace the origin of the products even when the fish are on the dining room table.”


According to Thanh, the project on giving bar codes to tra fish will be completed by 2012.


Tra and basa export markets now open


Vietnam’s tra and basa fish have found 24 new export markets, raising the total number of markets to 110.


MARD said that tra and basa remain the export items which account for the highest percentage in seafood exports with 206,000 tonnes exported in the first half of the year, worth $473.9 million.


Tra and basa exports in April saw the highest export volumes so far this year with 46,200 tonnes, up by 6.6 percent over the same period 2008. However, the exports unexpectedly slowed down in May due to the lower supply of fish for processing. Meanwhile, the demand for fish is very high in the world.


Vietnam’s main consumption market remains the EU, which consumed $206 million in the first six months of the year.


Regarding the US market, despite the great difficulties, exports to the market still saw considerable growth rate, obtaining $45.97 million in turnover, an increase of 59.98 percent over the same period of 2008.


Experts have predicted that tra and basa exports may reach $1.2-1.3 billion, much higher than the previously predicted level by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) at $1 billion.

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