Despite that significant growth, the shrimp industry has revealed a number of weaknesses and shortcomings.
The most worrying was the situation of chemical inputs into shrimp, which caused negative impact on the quality and credibility of export shrimp products from Vietnam.
In 2016, in three provinces of Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Kien Giang, responsible agencies have detected nearly 100 pumping contaminants cases, a two-fold increase year-on-year.
Many businesses even raise investment in machinery to pump a large quantity of chemicals.
In addition, the shortage of electricity for production made many farmers use generators, pushing production costs while reducing the competitiveness of shrimp products.
In particular, shrimp farming areas have revealed many shortcomings in planning and infrastructure, causing low yields and outputs.
Specifically, in many areas, the irrigation systems are being used for both aquacultural production and agricultural production, leading to water pollution caused by plant protection products.
Meanwhile, supervision of breeding shrimp production, as well as disease and environmental management, has yet to keep pace with the development of production.
Many localities have not even allocated funds for environmental monitoring and disease prevention for aquaculture breeding areas.
This is also one of the reasons for the fact that in 2016, the entire Mekong Delta region saw more than 190 thousand hectares of shrimp deaths from natural disasters and epidemics, causing heavy losses to farmers and reducing the source of raw shrimps for exports.
It is required that the shrimp industry must be reorganised from production and processing to exports.
Deputy Prime Minister, Trinh Dinh Dung had a recent working session with provincial leaders of Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Soc Trang, Kien Giang and Tra Vinh on plans and strategies to foster the development of the sector, towards building a trademark for Vietnamese shrimp.
It is also necessary that coastal localities, especially those specialising in farming shrimp, enhance cooperation in producing brackish water shrimp in order to improve product quality.
At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has designed a plan to monitor the production chain of safe shrimp for export, aiming to develop shrimp farms to the standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health and countries importing the product.
The People’s Committees of major shrimp producing localities have been asked to make plans and allocate capital for the application of measures to prevent shrimp diseases, to create low-risk areas and shrimp farms with production chain compliant safety requirements.
It is set that until the end of 2017, at least 10% of breeding shrimp farms producing over 1 billion post-larval shrimps each year will be recognised as safe farms.
The plan also sets a goal of at least one farm recognised to have a production chain meeting OIE safety standards. The regulations of OIE and importing countries will also be popularised among enterprises, along with guidelines to reach the standards.
Shrimp breeding is not only considered a key export product in recent years, but also has brought higher income for farmers and created many jobs. Therefore, focusing on productivity and quality to enhance value for this sector is one of the pressing needs in the process of restructuring the fisheries sector.