Salt farmers in HCM City’s Cần Giờ District are facing low prices, resulting in a stockpile of salt that cannot be sold.
|Salt farmers in Cần Giờ District sold only 31,000 tonnes of more than 130,000 tonnes of salt that farmers produced this year. Salt farmers also still have 12,000 tonnes of salt in stock from last year. — Photo dantri.com.vn
Phạm Hồng Hà, who has 1ha of salt in Lý Nhơn Commune, said he had just sold 400 tonnes of salt and faced a loss of VNĐ80 million (US$3,600). The price in Cần Giờ is VNĐ300-VNĐ400 a kilo.
Phạm Thị Kim Thoa in Lý Nhơn Commune said her family had to borrow a bank loan of VNĐ40 million ($1,800) to buy canvas sheets, a pump and other facilities to produce salt, but could not find buyers.
“My family has nearly 100 tonnes of salt in stock,” she said. “I don’t know if I will be able to pay the interest or the loan.”
Last month, the HCM City People’s Committee approved a programme to buy 30,000 tonnes of salt produced on canvas sheets, which yields cleaner salt than other methods.
The Southern Salt Corporation is buying salt from Cần Giờ farmers at VNĐ470 a kilo, while the city offers farmers an additional VNĐ181 a kilo.
The programme also supports farmers VNĐ180-223 a kilo to transport salt to sell at the corporation’s warehouses.
As of May 9, salt farmers in the district had sold 31,000 tonnes of more than 130,000 tonnes of salt that farmers produced this year, according to the district People’s Committee.
In addition, farmers still have 12,000 tonnes of salt in stock from last year.
The coastal district has 1,635ha devoted to produce salt this year.
Triệu Đỗ Hồng Phước, deputy chairman of the Cần Giờ District People’s Committee, said to support salt farmers the district would petition banks to extend the period of paying loans for salt farmers not able to pay loans on schedule and send their petition to district authorities.
Local authorities will manage salt production in accordance with the district’s zoning plan, he said.
Unzoned salt production areas in Lý Nhơn and Thạnh An communes will be switched to aquaculture cultivation areas, he said.
Cần Giờ authorities are calling on companies to invest in salt processing plants in the district, he said.
Trần Văn Cành, chairman of the Lý Nhơn Commune People’s Committee, said the commune is seeking measures to set up co-operatives to buy salt and find salt outlets for farmers.