EU-funded project helps facilitate sustainable clam farming in Mekong Delta

A EUR 4.3 million project to support the development of sustainable clam and bamboo value chains in Vietnam has been launched, targeting a reduction in poverty and inequality in local rural areas through inclusive and sustainable value chain development.

A EUR 4.3 million project to support the development of sustainable clam and bamboo value chains in Vietnam has been launched, targeting a reduction in poverty and inequality in local rural areas through inclusive and sustainable value chain development.

EU-funded project helps facilitate sustainable clam farming in Mekong Delta

Processing clams for export at Hung Truong Phat Aquamarine Product JSC, a member of the Marine Stewardship Council chain, in Ben Tre. (Photo: VNA)

On Thursday (May 31st), in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, Oxfam Vietnam in collaboration with the International Collaborating Centre for Aquaculture and Fisheries Sustainability (ICAFIS) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organised a workshop to launch the project’s “clam" component.

Earlier on May 25th, the “bamboo” component was launched in Nghe An.

According to Luong Dinh Lan, Oxfam Vietnam’s representative, the project, funded by the European Union, Oxfam, and partners, aims to further develop clam and bamboo value chains in Vietnam.

It will support small-scale producers and micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) processors in the clam value chain in the Mekong Delta provinces of Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, and Tien Giang, and of the bamboo chain in central Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces from 2018 to 2022. The project is expected to benefit about 150 cooperatives with 35,000 members and 60 MSME processors in these five provinces.

The “clam" component in the three Mekong Delta provinces is expected to increase the income of clam farmers and small and medium sized clam producers, thanks to sustainable production activities, business efficiency, and improved market access capacity. In addition, through the project, the clam value chain in the above localities will be better organised to the benefit of people on low incomes.

In parallel with supporting the improvement of production techniques, added value and efficiency in processing and trading, the project focuses on capacity building of small scale producers and offering technical assistance for the leading companies in the clam and bamboo industries to achieve important sustainability standards, such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for clams and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for bamboo. This is a prerequisite for accessing selective markets like Europe.

MSC-certified seafood products will have large market opportunities in more than 100 countries, gaining high value and good branding, said Dr. Le Thanh Luu, Head of the ICAFIS. He added that encouraging farmers and businesses to join the chain in order to receive MSC certification will help improve people's roles, increase economic benefits, and promote linkages to protect the ecological environment and stabilise social and industrial development.

According to Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, Vice President of the Vietnam Fisheries Society, the project will open up opportunities for clam production in the three provinces of Ben Tre, Tien Giang, and Tra Vinh to increase the added value aimed at sustainable development and contributing significantly to the restructuring of the agricultural sector and improving livelihoods and the quality of life for local people.

Dr. Tuan said that up to now, the country has about 40,000 ha of mollusk farms with an output of 265,000 tonnes per year. Mollusk products, including clams, have been exported to 42 markets around the world, reaching an export value of more than USD 82.3 million in 2017 and creating jobs for about 20,000 labourers./.

VNF/NDO

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