With its natural advantages, the Mekong Delta has seen the strong development of aquaculture with annual growth of 11% each year.
According to Vu Thanh Liem, Vice Director of the International Cooperation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) pointed to a number of challenges facing the region, including climate change impacts, saltwater intrusion and extreme weather conditions.
He said that the forum is expected to foster cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands in seeking sustainable measures to enhance the competitiveness of the Vietnamese aquaculture industry in the global market and protect the natural environment of the Mekong Delta region.
The EU is one of Vietnam’s five largest seafood export markets, and Vietnam is the second largest seafood supplier to the EU among all Asian countries and regions. In recent years, the Netherlands has become Vietnam’s largest seafood export market in the EU, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
Meanwhile, Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Daniël Stork held that Vietnam has great potential to become a sustainable seafood supplier of the world amid current food security challenges in the context of rising population.
The Netherlands is willing to cooperate with Vietnam in promoting sustainable aquaculture development through sustainable innovation, research and application of technologies and a comprehensive approach, he said.
The Dutch private agricultural sector is working with Vietnam in addressing challenges related to water quality and efficiency, reducing disease costs in fish farming, minimising antibiotic use, and technological innovation, planting mangrove forest, and making stratification process for agriculture.
Gerardo van Halsema from Wageningen University and Research proposed that Vietnam develop a new water supply system for aquaculture sector to ensure water quality for farming activities.
Participants at the event shared experience, knowledge and technologies for sustainable aquaculture development in Vietnam, while discussing the prospects and challenges for the Mekong Delta region, and seeking collaboration opportunities in the field.