|Lanka can tap Vietnam for
|(LBO) – Vietnam is ready to send experts to Sri
Lanka to transfer aquaculture knowledge and
techniques to grow seaweed, lobster and
sea-cucumber, visiting Minister
Vu Van Tam said in Colombo.
"We can send out technicians or experts to help Sri
Lanka," Deputy Minister Tam said. "Or we are ready
to receive your delegation of technicians to
practices in my country."
Tam who is Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Agriculture
and Rural Development is also in charge of the
country's directorate of fisheries. He headed a
delegation to take part in a regional fisheries
conference in Colombo this week.
He said a technical team could be put together
within a month if Sri Lanka makes a request from his
Vietnam is a key producer of seafood and is the
world's fifth largest exporter of seafood, Tam said.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood
Exporters and Producers, exports in the first
quarter rose 27 per-cent from a year earlier to 1.15
billion dollars. This year's seafood exports are
projected at 5.5 billion US dollars, Tam said.
The Vietnamese have engaged in farming the sea or
'mariculture' for long years as well as engaging in
Lobster larvae for example are caught in the wild
and grown in cages in the sea using several
different techniques. Vietnam also grows other
species including mollusks such oysters, sea
cucumbers, crab and several species of fish for
consumption and export.
In the first quarter alone exports of Pangasius
species of fish (tra or Vietnamese river cobbler)
reached 376 million dollars.
Minister Tam said in 2007 Vietnam's aquaculture
harvest had exceeded the fishery catch from the
Sri Lanka at one time used to be an exporter of
seaweed caught from the wild especially the so
called 'Ceylon moss' in areas such as Mannar.
Tam said in 2005 following a ministerial visit to
Colombo, Sri Lanka a memorandum had been signed by
the two countries but no action had been taken by
In 2009 a work plan had been developed for the 2010
to 2013 period. During the current visit Tam had met
Sri Lanka's Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne
briefly and a working group had been set up.
Minister Tam said if Sri Lanka has a master plan and
strategy for aquaculture development with a list of
species Vietnam was ready to assist wherever
"Vietnam is ready to provide technical assistance
all knowledge we have in order to develop the
aquaculture sector in Sri Lanka and provide seafood
to your people," he said.
Minister Tam said in developing master plan for
aquaculture it would be helpful to provide policies
to integrate farmers, local private sector as
stakeholders and also include foreign investors.
"The investment of the private sector both national
and foreign is very important," he said. "With
foreign investment you will get technology transfer
quickly and effectively."