Southern agriculture, husbandry production hits roadblock

By Anh Minh   August 6, 2021 | 02:10 am PT
Southern agriculture, husbandry production hits roadblock
Workers process fish in a factory in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long.
Nineteen southern localities are reporting major challenges in agriculture and husbandry production due to Covid-19 outbreaks, which could lead to a food shortage.

Fishery processing companies in the south have seen their production capacity fall by 60-70 percent, while the $9 billion export target for this year could be missed, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

If the outbreak continues to spread and China tightens frozen fishery imports from ASEAN countries, exports would only hit $8.8 billion at most.

Farmers are reluctant to continue the production of lime, pineapples, chicken and shrimp due to plunging sales caused by mobility restrictions.

Vegetable and fruit exports in the last six months could fall 30 percent year-on-year.

Many meat processing plants have been forced to shut down as they cannot keep workers on-site while most sector staff are unvaccinated.

Factories face many challenges in the remaining months, with the food supply chain possibly broken.

"This would have a major impact on food supply and national food security in the long run," the report stated.

The government needs to provide solutions to support farmers and keep production going, it urged.

Factory workers should all be vaccinated, and short-term loans extended. Factories should receive electricity discounts.

The government should purchase rice to ensure food security, it stressed.

All 19 southern localities including HCMC and 13 southern Mekong Delta provinces have imposed strict social distancing since July 19 to contain the coronavirus.

For decades, the Mekong Delta region has been Vietnam's rice bowl and aquaculture hub, meeting not only the country's food demand but also serving exports.

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