Vietnam expects tilapia exports of US$150mn by 2020

Tilapia Kalungi Nathan Wikimedia CommonsVietnam Directorate of Fisheries says that there is high demand for tilapia in the global market. (Image source: Kalungi Nathan/Wikimedia Commons)Tilapia exports from Vietnam are predicted to reach close to US$150mn by 2020, according to the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries

In the 10 years from 2004 to 2014, export of the fish has seen strong growth, increasing from US$1.95mn to more than US$32mn last year. It has been exported in various forms, such as frozen whole fish, skin-on fillet and skinless fillets, to more than 60 countries.

Pham Anh Tuan, deputy director of the directorate, said that 70 per cent of tilapia is bred in the Mekong Delta and the remaining 30 per cent in the north of the country. Last year, Vietnam had about 16,000 ha of tilapia farms which produced 125,000 tonnes of fish. This year, the area under tilapia farming is expected to grow to 21,000 ha and the production to 150,000 tonnes.

Under the tilapia breeding master plan for the period until 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development wants to establish links between tilapia farmers, processors and exporters. Also, provincial agriculture departments are required to strengthen quality management and regularly check breeding activities to ensure that farming follows zoning plans and does not cause pollution or obstruct waterway transport.

Ngo The Anh, an expert at the directorate’s Department of Aquaculture, said that there is high demand for tilapia in the global market. The directorate has suggested that local companies should also focus on building brands for Vietnamese tilapia and developing unique products to compete with experienced global rivals from countries like China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

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