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|Sustainable development of export-orientated farmed seafood in Mekong Delta, Vietnam
|Phan Thanh, Lam
|Little, David Colin
|University of Stirling
|Aquaculture is playing an important role in the development of fisheries in Vietnam, a role which has accelerated since 2000. Sustainability in aquaculture is receiving increasing attention, and this issue is not only the concern of government, but also stakeholders participating in the value chain. Therefore, this study aims to identify sustainability issues of farmed seafood by assessing the main sustainability issues raising concern. The Global Value Chain framework described by Gereffi et al. (2005) is applied for this study to explore the business relationships in supply chain and the perceptions of sustainability concerned by the value chain actors. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was used to collect data. An assessment of four species cultured on the Mekong Delta, the countries farmed seafood ‘hub’, found a clear distinction between species cultured with a local domestic market orientation (Giant Freshwater Prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii; and Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus) and the two key export commodities - Striped catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) and Penaeid shrimp (Penaeus monodon & Litopenaeus vannamei). These orientations were based on a range of factors including the development of effective seed supplies and the cultural value of marketing in the live format. This study, conducted in ten provinces in the Mekong Delta from 2009 to 2013 had a focus on understanding the export-orientated commodities, striped catfish and shrimp through collection of baseline information on the value chain of farmed seafood, focusing on the farming sector, the actors and institutions involved and beneficiaries. Sustainability issues and perceptions of experts (top-down) and primary stakeholders (bottom-up) opinions were assessed through participatory workshops. Shrimp and striped catfish production are mainly farmed for export, with 83% and 95% of its production, respectively, leaving the country mainly after processing. Currently, mainly families operate small-/medium-scale farms; while large-farms are integrated within seafood processors. Production efficiency of large-farms tends to be better than small-/medium farms. Many striped catfish and shrimp farms are likely to reach several standard criteria such as economic feed conversion ratio (eFCR), stocking density, no banned chemical/drug and wild-seed use, and land property rights; however, there were still many standard criteria that existing farms could not meet such as effluent management, farm registration, fishmeal control, farm hygiene and record-keeping requirement. Hence, current farming practices, especially small-/medium farms have a long way to go to meet emergent international food standards. Recently, many small-/medium catfish farms faced problems with low fish prices, so they have had to cease catfish farming activities and temporarily stop farming; while some larger farms also had to temporarily stop farming. Therefore, fish price has tended to be a main driving force for catfish farm changes. In the shrimp industry, there were technical changes occurring in the high intensity level of shrimp farms (HiLI); whereas, the remaining shrimp farms had fewer changes in farm management. Most HiLI shrimp farms were affected by AHPNS disease, which was a main factor driving their farm changes. Many perceptions of sustainability were identified by stakeholder groups, however seven sustainability issues had a high level of agreement among stakeholders including input cost, capital & credit costs, unstable markets, government regulation & policy, disease, seed quality, water quality and water availability factors. Hatcheries, farmers and manager groups were more concerned about environmental issues; while for the input suppliers and processors, economics was the main issue. Farmers and processors were two main actors that played an important role in the production process of the value chain. Small-/medium farms dominated the number of farms overall and still played an important role in primary production. However, small-scale farms were considered as more vulnerable actors in the value chain, and they faced more difficulties in meeting increasing requirements on food quality/safety. To maintain the position in the value chain, the solutions could be horizontal and vertical coordination. Thus policy makers will need to find ways to include them in the planning processes. To reach sustainability will require the efforts of direct stakeholders, the role of the state agencies is essential in negotiation and diplomacy to create partnerships with the seafood importing countries. However, efforts to develop sustainable production become impossible without participation from importers, retailers and consumers.
|Thesis or Dissertation
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