He made the proposal during a working session on February 23 with a delegation from the MARD led by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, which reviewed the province's production in 2021 and launched tasks for 2022.
An Giang province has 1,230 hectares of catfish farming of which enterprises and affiliate households account for 1,049 hectares producing 400,000 – 450,000 tonnes of catfish per year. There are 21 processing plants with a capacity of 323,000 tonnes of catfish in the locality.
The province’s aquaculture production last year is estimated at 520,000 tonnes, a reduction of 6,000 tonnes from that of 2020, reported the DARD, adding that it is expected to increase to 564,000 tonnes this year.
In order to turn An Giang into a production centre of rice and aquatic varieties of the Mekong Delta, the province needs assistance in carrying out a project on producing high quality young catfish in the region that has been approved, Lam said.
He called on the MARD soon propose the Government initiate a price stabilisation fund for rice and catfish products because they are key products of the country, the Mekong Delta in general and An Giang province in particular. He believed that it will help the rice and catfish industry avoid the adverse effects of the market, achieving sustainable development in the future.
It is necessary for the MARD to coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade in conducting surveys and forecasting market demand for domestic consumption and for exports, Lam said.
Solutions should be adopted as soon as possible to stablise the price of input materials to facilitate the development of the catfish industry, he added.
While praising its efforts in agriculture restructuring, Tien said An Giang should take advantage of the domestic market to create a linkage on the sale of agricultural products, especially putting them into wholesale and traditional markets, especially Ho Chi Minh City market.
To exploit agricultural advantages and turn agriculture into a driving force to promote socio-economic development of the province, Tien suggested An Giang push up the change of mindset in agriclture, building processing factories, developing large-scale agricultural farms as well as promoting the application of high technology./.