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Summary of proceedings and conclusions of project inception workshop

Dr Uwe Tietze,
Fishery Industry Officer
FAO, Rome


This report summarizes proceedings and results of the inception workshop of the project Fish marketing and credit in Viet Nam (MTF/VIE/025/Misc), which was funded by the Fisheries Sector Programme Support (FSPS) in Viet Nam and executed by FAO.

At present, only minimal information is available on marketing arrangements and facilities for fish and fisheries products in Viet Nam. The same was true for related finance, credit and investment facilities and arrangements. This lack of information hampers the improvement of marketing and utilization of fish and fisheries products in Viet Nam and has a negative economic and nutritional impact on both, producers and consumers. The Government of Viet Nam through its Ministry of Fisheries (MOFI) is committed to address this situation. It has requested that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) carry out a nationwide study on the marketing of fish and fishery products and related chain-coordination, finance, investment and credit aspects, facilities, needs and opportunities.

Responding to this request, the DANIDA aided Fisheries Sector Programme Support, the Fisheries Information Centre (FICEN) of the MOFI and FAO formulated a research project. It ultimately aims to improve the livelihoods of the people working in the Vietnamese fisheries sector as well as food security and supply of fish to urban and rural populations. This is to be achieved through collection and analysis of information on the marketing of fish and fishery products and through the dissemination of this information to all stakeholders in the fishery sector of Viet Nam. Emphasis is also laid on strengthening decision making processes in the Ministry of Fisheries, a sustainable development of fish marketing and utilization, on improving the role of women in fish marketing and utilization and on achieving food security and poverty alleviation.

More specifically, the objectives stated in the project document are:

i. to fill the current information gap on the marketing of fish and fishery products in Viet nam in order to support MOFI, institutions and donors active in the sector to address the needs of the fisheries sector better and support the decisionmaking processes in the sector;

ii. to provide access to clear market information to the actors in the fisheries products-marketing channel (e.g. fishers, middlepersons, processors, market traders and retailers) on the functions of the various actors in the channel, prices and consumer demands in the domestic market and the market structure;

iii. to contribute to the existing knowledge on how to feed the growing population in Asian cities efficiently, with respect to the provision of fisheries products and the main cities in Viet nam, i.e. Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang;

iv. to develop a model, including practical guidelines, that will assist the actors in the Vietnamese fisheries products marketing chain, by focusing on vertical cooperation, to become more competitive on the world and domestic market and improve the individual as well as chain performance to satisfy better the consumer demands;

v. to contribute to the existing knowledge on how fish production, marketing and processing are being financed at present and on how marketing related financial flows and transactions take place and could be further developed in Viet Nam including the identification of investment requirements and credit needs and channels;

vi. to enable MOFI to forecast, under different assumptions, the future consumption and consumption patterns of Vietnamese fisheries products given different growth rate projections for Viet Nam; and

vii. to strengthen the capacity of MOFI to disseminate the available findings of this project to others interested and identify the needs for possible follow-up activities in the field of fisheries products marketing in Viet Nam.

The inception workshop brought together the main parties that will be involved in the implementation of the project and studies and in the follow-up to the findings and results of the study. The workshop aimed at producing the following outputs:


The workshop was well attended by 32 participants representing the fishery industry, research, administration, financial institutions as well as donors and on-going fisheries development programmes. These included the Director and Vice-Director of the Fisheries Information Centre of the Ministry of Fisheries; representatives of the international cooperation department, the planning and investment department and the committee on the restructuring of public sector companies of the Ministry of Fisheries; representatives of the Ministry of Trade, the Faculty of Economics and Rural Development of Hanoi Agricultural University; the Viet Nam Institute of Agricultural Sciences (VASI); the Fisheries Economics and Planning Institute; the Research Institute for Aquaculture (RIA No. 1; the VINFFA fisheries associatione; the Hanoi Sea Products Import and Export Corporation; the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP); the Bien Dong Fisheries Corporation; the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Bank for the Poor.

The coordinator of the DANIDA aided Fisheries Sector Programme Support (FSPS); Senior Advisors, National Directors and experts of the Support to Freshwater Aquaculture (SUFA), Fisheries Management Information System (FMIS), Strengthening the Fisheries Administration (STOFA), Seafood Export and Quality Improvement Programme (SEAQIP) and the Support to Industry Restructuring and Enterprise Development (SIRED) component of the FSPS as well as officers of FAO Representation in Viet Nam and of the FAO Fishery Industries Division of FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, also participated in the workshop.


3.1 Opening

Mr Duong Long Tri, Vice-Director, Fisheries Information Centre, Ministry of Fisheries, extended a warm welcome to the workshop participants. He pointed out that the fisheries sector has become one of the key sectors of the Vietnamese economy. The speaker then identified lack of information and limited research on marketing, distribution and utilization of fish in Viet Nam as some of the main constraints to making better use of limited fisheries resources and to maximizing economic returns and nutritional benefits. Mr Tri expressed his hope that the new project Fisheries marketing and credit in Viet Nam and the studies to be carried out under the project will contribute to the generation of more information on utilization and marketing of fish and fishery products in Viet Nam and on related finance, credit and investment arrangements. The speaker then called on Ms Fernanda Guerrieri, FAO Representative to Viet Nam, to deliver the opening address.

The FAO Representative to Viet Nam expressed her pleasure in seeing the Government of Viet Nam, DANIDA and FAO united in addressing the issue of lack of information on the marketing of fish and fishery products in Viet Nam. Ms. Guerrieri thanked the Vietnamese Government and the DANIDA aided FSPS for organizing the inception workshop of the project together with FAO. The speaker identified marketing and credit as crucial issues in the further development of fisheries in Viet Nam. The problem of middlepersons appropriating a disproportionately high share of economic returns for themselves and thus depriving primary producers of their fair share was highlighted as well as the lack of price information for producers in the case of exportable items. Ms Guerrieri also identified a lack of value addition when exporting fish and shrimp products. Adding value in Viet Nam prior to exporting fish and shrimp products would increase the country’s export and foreign currency earnings as well as creating additional employment and income.

Mr Duong Long Tri then called on Mr Thai Thanh Duong, Director of the Fisheries Information Centre, Ministry of Fisheries, to address the workshop participants. Mr Duong welcomed the workshop participants and emphasised that the fisheries sector in Viet Nam has become a key economic sector, which creates income and employment for millions of people and also promotes the socio-economic status of women, particularly in rural areas, as well as food security. The fisheries sector presently accounted for 10 percent of the total exports earning of Viet Nam.

Development efforts presently focus on three areas i.e. offshore fishing, aquaculture and fish export promotion. In order to have appropriate policies in place, there is a need for sufficient information on the fisheries sector. Government also needs to be in a position to forecast demand for and supply of fish and to find means to satisfy the demand for fish. Information on trade, sales, prices and other information to be generated by the project and study are crucial for the various actors in the Vietnamese fishing industry, the Ministry of Fisheries as well as for international investors. The speaker concluded his address by wishing the workshop and the project the best of success and looking forward to their findings and recommendations.

The chairperson of the opening session, Mr Duong Long Tri then requested the last speaker of the opening session, Mr Frits Jepsen, coordinator, DANIDA Fishery Sector Programme Support, to address the workshop participants.

Mr Jepsen, on behalf of the DANIDA Fishery Sector Support Programme, warmly welcomed the workshop participants. The speaker mentioned that while information was available on fish production, fishery enterprises and fish export, there was little information available on fish marketing and distribution channels in Viet Nam and on domestic fish marketing and utilization. The speaker pointed out that the lack of knowledge on fish marketing in Viet Nam hampers the efficiency of the private sector as well as of government agencies trying to promote fisheries development, marketing and trade. The project and the studies to be carried out are expected to generate new knowledge, which would help to start tackling the various problems, resulting from this information gap. He also highlighted that the project brings together the best of national and international expertise.

3.2 Introduction

The introductory session commenced with participants briefly introducing themselves and their institute and organization. Following this, Dr Uwe Tietze of FAO Rome highlighted the objectives and expected outcomes of the project and workshop. The overall objective of the project was to improve the livelihoods of the people working in Viet Nam’s fishery industry. This was to be achieved through collection and analysis of information on marketing and utilization of fishery products in Viet Nam and through the dissemination of this information to all stakeholders (i.e. primary producers, small, medium, and large-scale producers, middlepersons, fish collectors, wholesalers, processors and exporters) as well as to concerned research and government agencies.

The speaker stressed that special emphasis would be put on strengthening decision making in the Ministry of Fisheries regarding improved utilization and marketing of fish and fishery products in Viet Nam in support of food security, alleviation of poverty, strengthening of the social and economic role of women in the fishery industry and on a sustainable development of fish marketing and utilization balancing domestic and export oriented fish marketing and utilization development. The speaker then went on to describe the seven specific objectives of the project already mentioned in Chapter 1.

The session was followed by a review of the workshop’s agenda by Mr Raymon van Anrooy of the FAO Representation in Hanoi. The speaker explained that the proceedings of the first day will continue with a review of available secondary data on fishery products, marketing and related credit issues and the identification of information gaps. This would be followed by working group sessions. The groups would identify the main issues and topics to be covered for each actor/intermediary in the fish production and marketing chain to be studied, i.e. primary producers, middlepersons/wholesalers, processors/exporters and retailers/consumers. The second day of the workshop would focus on survey design, geographical coverage and on the responsibilities of the various institutions participating in the project. The workshop would conclude with the formulation of a detailed timetable and planning framework for implementation of the study and project activities. The workshop programme was unanimously adopted as proposed.

3.3 Review of the available secondary data on the marketing of fishery products in Viet Nam

The review was presented by Mr Raymon van Anrooy, FAO Representation, Hanoi. The speaker commenced with a general overview of marine fisheries and aquaculture in Viet Nam. This was followed by an overview of available information on the marketing of fish in Viet Nam, identification of problems/constraints and sources of information. The speaker highlighted that all data used in the presentation have been obtained from official sources at the Ministry of Fisheries.

The increase of total fisheries sector output has been large over the last five years. Total output grew from 1.4 million to 2.0 million tonnes, which amounts to an average annual increase of about 9 percent. The number of labourers employed in the fisheries sector also increased considerably and 400 000 new labourers joined the sector over the last few years. This number is expected to grow further as many rice farmers in coastal provinces turn to shrimp farming and rice-fish culture in upland areas becomes more common.

The number of motorized fishing vessels was increasing sharply, especially the number of offshore fishing vessels, as coastal fisheries resources are fully and sometimes overexploited. Provincial government authorities are supporting the expansion of the fishing fleet with subsidies and credit facilities.

The speaker pointed out that there are more than 200 fish processing companies registered in Viet Nam, which are improving their quality standards and obtaining HACCP and ISO certification and access to the markets in Europe and the United States. At present 61 fish processing companies in Viet Nam are allowed to export to the European Union. The speaker went on to explain that the export value of fish products almost doubled between 1999 and 2000 and amounted to US$1.47 billion last year. For 2001, the Ministry of Fisheries expects earnings of US$1.75 billion from the export of fish and fishery products. The goal is to reach an export value between US$2.5 and 3 billion in the year 2005. Recently, the United States of America became the main export market for Vietnamese fish products and despite the slowdown of the global economy, further growth of fish exports is expected.

As far as marine capture fisheries are concerned, 1.2 million tonnes of fish were caught last year. With the support of the Asian Development Bank and JICA, 17 fishing ports have been constructed and are now fully operational along the Vietnamese coast. The number of motorized fishing vessels increased last year by 6 000 boats with altogether 1 million HP. As coastal fisheries resources are already fully and overexploited, the focus on further fishing fleet expansion was on the development of the offshore fleet.

Regarding the aquaculture subsector, aquaculture production rose to more than 700 000 tonnes in 2000. The area under exploitation increased to 640 000 hectares. This amounts to an average production of just over 1.1 tonnes per hectares. The speaker mentioned that the area under cultivation would reach 1 million-hectare this year and was expected to increase further in the near future.

The speaker also pointed out that the Ministry of Fisheries not only focuses on exports but also on food security and poverty alleviation. Aquaculture has been shown to be an excellent tool for achieving these goals in rural areas in Viet Nam over the past years. The Sustainable Aquaculture for Poverty Alleviation (SAPA) strategy has been approved by the prime-ministers office and was now a subprogramme under the National Hunger Eradication and Poverty Reduction Strategy of the government. In this context, the speaker emphasized the fact that the fast increase in coastal shrimp and catfish aquaculture, i.e. the products which are primarily meant for export, also contributed significantly to livelihood improvements of the rural population through on-farm employment and employment in shrimp and fish processing activities.

The speaker then went on to mention problems caused by the fact that income and employment opportunities in shrimp culture have attracted inexperienced farmers to enter the industry on a large scale. As a result, at the beginning of this year, there were problems with diseases and poor water resource management, which caused huge losses in production. These problems are likely to continue, as there was a lack of extension services, good planning and also of regulations.

Regarding information on domestic marketing and utilization of fish and fishery products in Viet Nam, the speaker concluded that only little information was currently available.

However, general information on exports was available on topics such as importing countries, prices, volumes and values of main product groups, detentions and growth rates.

As far as sources of information are concerned, the speaker explained that the Fisheries Information Centre at the Ministry provides above information on their Internet site ( In addition, the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) can provide lists of processing and exporting companies with their products and markets. The National Institute of Nutrition under the Ministry of Health has consumption figures for fish (currently 18 kg/year) available and for subgroups such as fish sauce, freshwater fish and dried fish.

The speaker stressed that the Ministry of Fisheries recognizes that much needs to be improved in the field of fish marketing and utilization and was therefore very interested in this project.

Among other issues, the speaker identified the following problems of fish marketing and utilization in Viet Nam:

The speaker expressed his hope that the information to be collected by the project would help to further specify and quantify the problems, to identify opportunities to solve them and to improve the situation for all actors in the fisheries productmarketing chain. The speaker pointed out that most institutions and projects active in the Vietnamese fisheries sector which are considering marketing and utilization issues are focusing primarily on the export of the products rather than on domestic fish marketing and utilization. Active in marketing issues are among others VASEP, MOFI, SEAQIP 2 and SIRED. Some field case studies of fish product marketing have been carried out by SEAQIP 1, INFOFISH and the WES project at Can Tho University.

The speaker concluded his presentation by inviting participants to come up with additional information on institutions or people that were or are presently involved in research on above and similar issues.

Dr Audun Lem, FAO Rome, followed with his presentation. He stated that this project was the first occasion on which FAO participates in a fish marketing project in Viet Nam although INFOFISH has carried out several studies in the country previously. Whereas the majority of projects in which FAO’s Fish Utilization and Marketing Service is involved, deals with international trade and marketing issues, domestic marketing projects become increasingly more important. Similar projects carried out in other countries have addressed issues such as:

Dr Lem underlined that the purpose of the project and studies was to arrive at a better understanding of how the market operates. This would prove useful to policy makers as well as to the fishery industry itself. Other uses of the information to be generated by the project and studies are possibly in polices on nutrition, food quality and safety, in consumption studies, demand and supply projections and export promotion strategies.

In the discussion following the two presentations, the lack of information on fish marketing and utilization in Viet Nam was confirmed. None of the workshop participants could provide any additional information on studies on the topic, which have been carried out in Viet Nam in the past and related publications. Regarding the organizations and institutions mentioned in Mr Van Anrooy’s presentation, i.e. SEAQIP 1, INFOFISH and the WES project at Can Tho University, the national consultants assigned to the project would undertake the work and secondary data analysis.

3.4 Identification of issues to be covered by the studies - working groups and plenary session

Four working groups were formed to discuss and agree on the main types of information to be collected and issues/factors to be considered by the studies to be carried out under the project.

Each group dealt with a particular type of actor/intermediary in the fish productionmarketing chain:

Among others, the working groups considered the following issues:

i. structure of the market (level of competition, open access, rules and regulations; number of actors, interaction between actors);

ii. characteristics of this specific marketing channel of fishery products;

iii. the five Ps of marketing (place, product, price, promotion and people);

iv. common practices, trends and recent changes with respect to marketing;

v. constraints to marketing, sales and processing;

vi. needs and opportunities with respect to marketing;

vii. financial flows, investment cost and cost of operations, credit sources and needs;

viii. functions and services carried out by this level in the marketing chain; and

ix. interaction with other intermediaries and actors in the marketing chain.

The findings of the working groups were presented in the plenary session and are shown below.

Group 1: Primary producers

The working group agreed that, among other things, the following type of information should be collected and issues and factors considered:

Structure of market


Interaction between actors

Regulations, rules and law

The five Ps of marketing

Common practices:


Constraints to marketing

Opportunities with respect to marketing

Financial flows

Credit sources

Credit needs

In the discussion following the presentation of working group 1, the question was asked whether trends could be observed as far as direct marketing (few or no intermediaries) and indirect marketing (many intermediaries) of fish products by primary producers in Viet Nam. In response the rapporteur of group 1 suggested that in the case of small-scale fisherfolk and fish farmers a trend to direct selling and marketing of fish could be observed whereas for medium and large-scale fishing enterprises and fish farms, there was a trend towards more indirect marketing of fish and fishery products.

It was also suggested that generally, the number of middlepersons was increasing between primary producers and fish processors and also at the regional level, i.e. between districts and provinces. In response to queries as to whether this resulted in less or more competition, it was pointed out that the increase in the number of middlepersons meant that fish marketing was becoming more competitive in Viet Nam

Questions were also asked regarding recent changes in the sources of credit. The rapporteur of working group 1 explained that banks like the Bank for the Poor was now providing more credit for aquaculture and has increased their loan ceiling to VND 10 million. In spite of these efforts by the Bank for the Poor, there was still a lack of institutional credit for fishing, fish farming and fish marketing and processing. The rapporteur of working group 1 also mentioned that as competition among middlepersons was increasing, they also provide more loans to fish farmers to ensure regular fish supplies.

Other interventions focused on the role of sales organizations and cooperatives among fisherfolk and fish farmers. It was explained that generally there were no formal sales s and cooperatives involved in fish marketing. Cases could be observed though where producers such as shrimp farmers assumed the role of collectors/middlepersons themselves by taking turns to collect shrimps from other farmers and to sell them to processing factories. Other cases were mentioned where middlepersons had organised fish farmers to informal groups with the purpose of facilitating the collection of fish and shrimp from these primary producers.

Questions were also asked whether an increase in the number of middlepersons had an effect on the information flow regarding retail prices, demand, etc. to primary producers. In response, members of working group 1 observed that an increase in the number of middlepersons goes hand in hand with a reduced flow of information.

Group 2: Middlepersons and wholesalers
The group presented the following report:





1. Market


Market participation


Market information


Legal framework





Market price

Number of actors

Types of actors



Stock sharing


Groups, kinship,

Public sector (wholesalers)



On shore

Trading decision


(verbally, advance/loan related)

Free market

2. Characteristics of actors

Scale of operations

Geographical coverage

Working capital


Technical knowledge

Sources of labour

Family labour, hired

Hygienic practices

Storage facility


Trading responsiveness



Common practices

Subjectivity, directness

3.Common practices,
trends, and recent



Increasing trading volumes

Emergence of large trading groups


Diversification of products and customers

Expansion of market share


Combined with processing

Combined with farming

Recent changes

Government policies

Tax, credit, infrastructure

Area of aquaculture

Fishing area

Offshore fishing

Technological change

Farming, fishing

Processing industry

Input markets

Support services

4. Constraints


Feedback loops

Legal framework

State administration

Trading administration

Scale of production

Small, scattered

Market competition


Storage facilities

Transportation facilities

Marketing knowledge

5. Needs and


Market information


Legal framework


Storage, transport


The sector development

Technological change

The development of the national economy

Government policies

Infrastructure, credit, information

International donor support


6. Financial flows,
investment costs, costs of
operations, credit sources
and needs

Financial flows

Sources of funds

Own, loans, shared


Storage facilities


Costs of operations
Gross output








Interests on loans



Its contributions

7. Services

Supply of inputs

Supply of logistics




Finance and credit

In the discussion following the presentation of working group 2, the question of the role of middlepersons in the export of unprocessed raw material was raised. The rapporteur of working group 2 explained that in many cases, unprocessed raw material was exported without the intervention of middlepersons. The cases of clams and mackerel were referred to; these were directly bought from primary producers in Viet Nam by Thai importers and Chinese fisherfolk (at sea), respectively. Another case was mentioned where Vietnamese fisherfolk were selling directly to Malay fish importers.

In addition to these cases where primary producers were interacting directly with foreign importers and thereby had shortened and simplified the marketing chain, there were cases where former middlepersons had expanded their role and formed companies, which directly exported life fish rather than supplying it to exporting companies.

Group 3: Processors and exporters

The presentation of group 3 can be summarized as follows:


Findings of working groups

a. Constraints to processing and exporting

b. Domestic market issues

The discussion following the presentation of working group 3 focused on linkages between export and domestic markets for fish and fishery products. It was explained that the domestic demand for high quality seafood was growing. There was also a growing demand for processed fish products as employment, also of women, was increasing and people had less time for cooking.

Participants pointed out that some exporting companies already supplied the domestic market and also had special promotion and marketing strategies and programmes. Other companies were in the planning stage. It was suggested that the study should make a special effort to identify opportunities for better linkages between export and domestic markets and also identify related investment and technical assistance needs.

Group 4: Retailers and consumers


Working group 4, dealing with retailer and consumer issues, noted that data availability on consumption of fishery products in Viet Nam was very low. The members of the working groups identified no information sources other than that already mentioned in the presentation by Mr Raymon van Anrooy summarized above. The report of the group as presented in plenary can be summarized as follows.

Consumption of fish is still relatively low in Viet Nam. One reason was that before Doi Moi (economic liberalization), quality of fish was low as fish marketing was carried out by public sector enterprises. Consumers in Viet Nam prefer fresh and not frozen products as supplied by the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at that time. The image of fish products among older people was still affected by bad experiences of those times.

Marine fish marketed in big cities was still of low quality as a result of inadequate storage. Ice was sometimes available but turnover was low. Marine fish was in most cases more expensive than freshwater fish. The working group considered that there are too many brokers/middlepersons in the marketing chain and that transaction times are too long and profit margins too high. Consumers usually do not know the suppliers of fish and many suppliers have a bad reputation. There are no established brand names of companies or products and it was difficult to know whether fish were coming from a reliable source. There are no guarantees of the quality of fish products.

The variety of marine fish species caught and marketed was large. People do not know which species has which taste. Sometimes fish were kept fresh/preserved by the use of chemical fertilisers. This practise has negatively affected the image of the fishery products and sector. Consumers generally know more about freshwater fish and therefore it has a better image than marine fish. Consumers can buy it alive or freshly caught. Sometimes, however, freshwater fish was contaminated with pesticides and city waste but many people are not aware of this. As distances are smaller and costs of distribution lower for freshwater fish than for marine fish, the freshwater products are often cheaper.

The group also noted that people eat more fish at home than in restaurants. The income of many households was too low to purchase marine fish. People prefer small and low-priced fish for home consumption. Most people buy at markets, some at stores with refrigerators or aquariums. Canned products (herring and tuna) do not have a good image as people think that the preservatives they contain are harmful for their health. Generally, best quality fish products are exported and lower value products are sold domestically.

Seafood was consumed all year round, however, the species availability changes. There are no big differences in consumption levels of fish between the summer and winter season.

Structure of the market

The following was concluded regarding the structure of the market at the retail level:

Special characteristics of the retailers/market traders are:

The five Ps of marketing

Common practices/trends and developments

Constraints to marketing at the retail level

Needs and opportunities with respect to marketing at the retail level

Financial flows, investment and credit at the retail level

In general, fish retailers do not make many investments. Market traders and retailers mostly do not want to invest in better equipment or facilities, but prefer investment in large quantities of produce. There are investment needs for government though to improve the facilities (infrastructure, e.g. roads and market places) and organizations/institutions to provide regular price information. Access to credit was relatively easy from various banks. Delayed payment facilities and credit was obtained from middlepersons, companies and fish farmers and no interest was charged.

Functions and services provided by retailers

In the discussion following the presentation of working group 4, the question was raised whether there were differences in fish consumption between towns and rural areas. The rapporteur of working group 4 replied that no information was available on this.

Other interventions focused on preferences for freshwater and marine fish. It was pointed out that in Northern Viet Nam as well as further inland, freshwater fish was preferred while marine fish was more popular in Southern Viet Nam and in coastal areas. The picture has recently been changing, and marine fish has also become popular in Hanoi and in dried form even in the mountainous inland areas of central and northern Viet Nam.

Concluding the presentations and discussions of the working groups it was agreed that the issues and factors identified by the working groups would form a first basis for formulating key informant interview guidelines and sample survey questionnaires by international and national consultants. Other variables should be added as needed.

3.5 Survey design, geographical coverage and timeframe

Dr Uwe Tietze, FAO Rome, presented survey design and geographical coverage of the project. Mr Raymon van Anrooy of the FAO Representation in Hanoi introduced the workplan and time frame of the project. Mr Erland D. Jensen, Fisheries Management Information System Adviser of the Fisheries Sector Programme Support, gave a brief overview of the Fisheries Information Management System, which was being introduced in close cooperation with the Fisheries Information Centre of the Ministry of Fisheries.

With reference to the project document, it was explained that three regions were to be covered by key informant interviews and sample surveys i.e. Northern, Central and Southern Viet Nam. The total number of key interviews to be carried out was 85. The sample survey covered four provinces in each of the regions and the total number of interviews to be carried out had been set at 2 000.

In the discussion following the first part of the presentation, it was suggested to reduce the number of provinces to be covered by the study in central Viet Nam to three and increase the Provinces to be covered in Southern Viet Nam to five because of the greater importance of the fisheries sector in the south. The provinces/cities, finally selected were:

Regarding the institutions to be employed for carrying out sample surveys, the workshop agreed that in addition to the institutions mentioned in the project document i.e. the University of Social Sciences in Hanoi, the University of Fisheries in Nha Trang and the University of Can, other institutions should also be considered for carrying out the field survey. A final selection should be made after the institutions have been contacted and their capacity to carry out the study according to the timing envisaged in the work plan has been assessed.

As far as the sample to be studied by sample survey and interviews with key informants are concerned, it was agreed that it would consist of the nine subsamples mentioned in the project document. These include primary producers in capture fisheries; primary producers in aquaculture; fish processing and exporting companies; fish buying and selling middlepersons; fishery and aquaculture inputs supplying enterprises; wholesalers/distributors; retailers; consumers; as well as fishery experts from fisheries research and administration.

Regarding the scale of operations of the various actors/intermediaries to be covered under each subsample, it was agreed to include in each subsample a roughly equal number of small-scale, medium-scale and large-scale operators.

Regarding the sample selection it was agreed to select a random sample wherever sampling frames were available. Where this was not the case, sample units should be selected purposively. The final decision was left to the international and national consultants who would be involved in the studies. Key informants would be purposively selected depending on their responsiveness and expertise.

As far as sample size was concerned, the number of 2 000 interviews to be carried out under the sample survey and 85 key informant interviews was found adequate. The final determination of subsample sizes was left to the international and national consultants.

It was also agreed that prior to the commencement of the sample survey, a workshop should be held in which all interviewers and supervisors who would be involved in the sample survey would be trained and where the fieldwork would be coordinated.

The timeframe of the project as mentioned in the project document was in principal agreed on. As the project started later than envisaged in the project document and there were possible delays in recruiting a National Project Manager and National Experts, it was also agreed that some adjustments would have to be made.

As far the relationship of the project with the FMIS was concerned, which was being introduced in Viet Nam, it was emphasized that the information to be collected by the project should be, as much as possible, compatible with and supplement the information on fish marketing and credit, which was presently being collected in the framework of the FMIS. The project should also make use of and strengthen already existing channels of information and already existing information in the FMIS. Last, but not least, the studies to be carried out by the project should be designed in such a way that most of the information to be collected through them can later be routinely collected and analysed and would form part of the FMIS.

3.6 Closing session

The workshop concluded with closing remarks by Mr Thai Thanh Duong on behalf of the Ministry of Fisheries of Viet Nam, Dr Uwe Tietze on behalf of FAO and by Mr Frits Jepsen on behalf of DANIDA. The speakers expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the two-day workshop and thanked the participants for the active and resourceful participation.

It was hoped that the workshop had laid a solid foundation for the new project. The project was expected to initiate a regular flow of information on fish marketing in Viet Nam and related financial, investment and credit issues for the benefit of producers and consumers, the fishery industry as well as fisheries administrators, planners and managers.

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