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Sustainable fishing slashes poverty
January 04, 2013, 10:43 AM
Thousands of poor people have risen above the poverty line in the last seven years thanks to sustainable fisheries, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said yesterday.

He was addressing a conference to wrap up the second phase of the Fisheries Sector Support Programme funded by the Danish Government.

The programme aimed to help poor farmers understand how to operate sustainable fisheries, from growing fish to processing and marketing.

"Over 40,000 beneficiaries of the programme have escaped from poverty," Tam said.

The programme's second phase, conducted in 2006 in eight poor provinces including Son La, Dak Lak, Quang Ninh and Nghe An, focused on improving capacity management, diversifying products and improving post-harvest quality control.

Each poor household that participated in the programme saw its yearly income increase from an average of VND5.9 million (US$280) in 2010 to VND8.4 million ($400) this year, he said.

Director of northern Son La Province's Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Quyet Nghi said that people in the mountainous area had previously been unfamiliar with raising fish. But now, the province had six fish-breeding groups and planned to set 40 stations for sturgeon farming.

Danish Ambassador John Nielsen appreciated the two countries' co-operation in developing the fisheries sector, describing the programme as "a success story".

"This provides a foundation for the two countries to move forward to new forms of co-operation based on commercial partnership for mutual benefits," he said.

But although Viet Nam is the third-largest seafood exporter in the world, with $6.1 billion in export revenue, the country still needs to improve its fishery products' quality to meet the stringent requirements of major importers such as Europe and America, he said.

Since 1993, the Danish Government has supported the Vietnamese fishery sector with grants totaling more than $100 million.

Currently, Viet Nam receives over $60 million in grants from Denmark each year through development projects and support programmes.

Source: (VNS)
Kim Thu
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