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Since the early 1980s, exports of fish in Viet Nam have increased significantly while the improvement of domestic marketing and utilization of fish have not received sufficient attention. Improving supplies of fish for urban and rural populations, better quality and safety of products and ensuring food security, particularly for disadvantaged and vulnerable parts of the population, are important concerns which were addressed by studies, the findings of which are presented in this report. These findings suggest that the domestic consumption of fish in Viet Nam is probably higher than previously assumed. Given the projected strong economic growth over the coming years, it must be expected that local consumer demand will continue to expand. At the same time, the exportoriented fish processing industry will result in an increased demand for raw materials.

This substantial future demand for safe and high quality fish products can only be met if efficient marketing arrangements are in place. The findings of the studies identify a number of constraints in the present domestic fish marketing channels, which form the basis of recommendations for the improvement of the present marketing arrangements. These include the establishment of fish wholesale markets in large urban areas, establishment of well-functioning assembly markets at important fish landing sites, improvement of the legal/regulatory framework for the operations of fish wholesalers, establishment of fish market price information systems, promotion of contract farming/trading systems among fish market operators certified by local authorities, improvement of fisheries statistics systems for better fish market planning, the promotion of a domestic fish market strategy complementing the export-oriented development strategy and the development of a coordination mechanism for the public sector for fish marketing and fish market management.

As far as the fish marketing chain is concerned, it is recommended that governmental and semi-governmental institutions should play an active role in the improvement of the vertical fish marketing chain. Their cooperation with the private-sector stakeholders is requested as capabilities of the private sector to establish well-working cooperation arrangements seem limited and have not (yet) brought the expected benefits. Publicprivate partnership appears to be the key to success.

Credit is widely used for financing marine capture fisheries, particularly offshore fishing and export-oriented fish culture, processing and marketing. State-owned financial institutions play a major role in financing capital expenditure while working capital requirements are mainly met by informal sources of credit. Future investment requirements and credit needs are greater than current availability. In particular, the domestic fish marketing sector, i.e. wholesalers and retailers, so far have only a limited access to credit and this is perceived as an obstacle to the growth and improvement of the sector. In the case of offshore fisheries, the findings suggest that there should not be any further expansion of credit, and future credit support should focus on making the fleet more efficient and sustainable.

Lem, A.; Tietze, U.; Ruckes, E.; Anrooy, R. van
Fish marketing and credit in Viet Nam.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 468. Rome, FAO. 2004. 174p.

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