Embattled salt farmers in Quang Ngai Province aided hinh anh 1 Illustrative photo (Photo:VNA)
Quang Ngai (VNA) - The Quang Ngai Province People’s Committee has ordered officials to come up with support policies to enable farmers in Duc Pho District to produce and sell clean salt in 2016-2020.

The province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will draft policies to support salt farmers and individuals and organisations providing services for salt production, processing and trade.

The People’s Committee has also ordered it to hand over its task of developing infrastructure at the Sa Huynh salt fields in Duc Pho District’s Pho Thanh Commune to the district administration.

Sa Huynh, the largest salt producing area in the central province with 120ha, is also famous for the delicious taste of its salt.

Sa Huynh salt was in fact granted trademark protection in 2011 by the National Office of Intellectual Property.

But the continuous decline in salt prices and large inventories have caused many producers there to abandon the work and switch to other jobs, like peeling shrimp for local processors.

The price of salt is now 350 VND a kilogramme, causing losses to farmers.

As of June 1 Sa Huynh salt producers had inventories of 2,000 tonnes from the last season.

Around 120 out of nearly 600 households, with a total area of 30ha this year, have stopped producing salt, according to Pho Thanh authorities.

Tran Ngoc Thanh, who has a 3,000sq.m salt field, said: “My family has made salt for 40 years, but this is the first year it has left such a large area unproductive.”

In recent years Quang Ngai authorities have been making efforts to develop salt production.

More than 100 farmers have been given loans worth a total of more than 1.3 billion VND (59,000 USD) to cement salt fields for making clean salt.

The province built a refined salt processing plant with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes a year near Sa Huynh at a cost of 5 billion VND (230,000 USD). But it shut down in 2010 not long after being built.

Last year the province’s Youth Union launched a programme to help Sa Huynh producers sell their salt by setting up sales points.-VNA