Vietnamese salt farmers suffer losses as stock piles up
Salt farmers in HCM City’s Can Gio District are facing low prices, resulting in a stockpile of salt that cannot be sold.
Salt farmers in Can Gio District sold only 31,000 tonnes of more than 130,000 tonnes of salt that farmers produced this year. Salt farmers also still have 12,000 tonnes of salt in stock from last year.
Pham Hong Ha, who has 1ha of salt in Ly Nhon Commune, said he had just sold 400 tons of salt and faced a loss of VNĐ80 million (US$3,600). The price in Can Gio is VNĐ300-VNĐ400 a kilo.
Phạm Thi Kim Thoa in Ly Nhon Commune said her family had to borrow a bank loan of VNĐ40 million ($1,800) to buy canvas sheets, a pump and other facilities to produce salt, but could not find buyers.
“My family has nearly 100 tons of salt in stock,” she said. “I don’t know if I will be able to pay the interest or the loan.”
Last month, the HCM City People’s Committee approved a program to buy 30,000 tons of salt produced on canvas sheets, which yields cleaner salt than other methods.
The Southern Salt Corporation is buying salt from Can Gio farmers at VNĐ470 a kilo, while the city offers farmers an additional VNĐ181 a kilo.
The program also supports farmers VNĐ180-223 a kilo to transport salt to sell at the corporation’s warehouses.
As of May 9, salt farmers in the district had sold 31,000 tons of more than 130,000 tons of salt that farmers produced this year, according to the district People’s Committee.
In addition, farmers still have 12,000 tons of salt in stock from last year.
The coastal district has 1,635ha devoted to produce salt this year.
Trieu Do Hong Phuoc, deputy chairman of the Can Gio District People’s Committee, said to support salt farmers the district would petition banks to extend the period of paying loans for salt farmers not able to pay loans on schedule and send their petition to district authorities.
Local authorities will manage salt production in accordance with the district’s zoning plan, he said.
Unzoned salt production areas in Ly Nhon and Thạnh An communes will be switched to aquaculture cultivation areas, he said.
Can Gio authorities are calling on companies to invest in salt processing plants in the district, he said.
Tran Van Canh, chairman of the Ly Nhon Commune People’s Committee, said the commune is seeking measures to set up co-operatives to buy salt and find salt outlets for farmers.
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