Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam has urged tra fish processors and exporters to tighten quality control over fish fry at farms and input materials to meet international quality standards in the context of forecast difficulties for tra fish export next year.

Industry insiders have said farming costs are expected to go up and the purchasing power in foreign markets remains uncertain in 2015.

At a meeting with seafood exporters from Mekong Delta localities in An Giang on December 15, Nguyen Huy Dien, Deputy Director General of Fisheries Directorate, said the Mekong Delta recorded a total tra fish farming area of over 5,430ha this year, exporting more than 718,000 tonnes for 1.58 billion USD, up 0.5 percent in volume and 0.04 percent in value.

He noted that poor quality fry have resulted in low living rate during the farming process, while the prices of feed and other input materials are on constant rise.

At the same time, many foreign markets have tightened quality control of imported tra fish, he said, adding that the European Union, Republic of Korea and Japan are closely checking the amount of antibiotic residue in seafood while the Middle East is also asking for Halal certificate for no use of pig bone in fish feed.

Deputy Minister Vu Van Tam asked localities to improve cultivation and processing process up to VietGap standards for a start. The Directorate of Fisheries were requested to appraise the quality of breeding and feed-making facilities.

Tam praised An Giang and Dong Thap for their preferential credit model and production chain. He also promised all possible State support in extending markets, including lower interest rates and tax incentives, among others.

The Mekong region is currently home to 193 businesses producing frozen tra fish and basa for export.-VNA