Vietnam will be sharing its knowledge with Cambodia Aquaculturist Association (CAA) members on juvenile fish breeding techniques to strengthen breeding abilities, and produce better quality and increased amounts of fish at competitive prices.
Between July 4 and 10, the members will be at Can Tho University in the Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam on a study tour, thanks to financial aid provided by the Commercialisation of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade (CAST) and the American Soybean Association (ASA).
Lem Phovarith, a CAA member, told The Post that prior to his visit to Vietnam, Can Tho University experts had provided six training sessions to the association.
However, Cambodia lacks modern equipment and facilities and is only able to learn the theoretical aspects, which prompted CAST and ASA to render aid so that members can learn better at the site itself.
“We expect our members who are juvenile fish breeders and producers to gain more knowledge and experience from this study tour.
“It will encourage them to invest more in juvenile fish production and reduce imports from Vietnam. Currently, each association member is only producing about one million juvenile fish a year,” Phovarith said.
Previously, Can Tho University experts taught members how to breed and cultivate the species, including juvenile fish “chdo” (Channa micropeltes), “chhpeun” (cyprinid fish of the Hypsibarbus genus), and “pra” shark catfishes, all of which have high demand in the market.
Hav Viseth, deputy director of the Fisheries Administration (FiA) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the aquaculture development of neighbouring countries and throughout ASEAN is 10 to 20 years ahead of Cambodia.
Therefore, acquiring knowledge from these countries is a good opportunity to strengthen Cambodia’s fisheries sub-sector.
He said Cambodia’s juvenile fish production has been increasing steadily, though it is not enough to meet demand.
Further boosting of production by the FiA with EU’s assistance will enable increased training by experts from abroad on juvenile fish production techniques this August.
“After we receive technical training from experts, we can continue to provide local juvenile fish production training. We must expand juvenile fish production to raise aquaculture outputs in order to reduce imports,” he said.
The agriculture ministry has been promoting aquaculture development to farmers and investors to guarantee a steady supply and quality of juvenile fish, fewer imports and a balanced market price.
“The ministry has also provided technical support to the aquaculture sector to increase revenue,” said minister Veng Sakhon on July 1, on the occasion of the 20th National Fish Day.
He noted that the policy direction of the ministry is to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of the management of fishery resources by strengthening the implementation of fisheries laws and boost aquaculture production by 20 per cent a year.
In 2021, statistics by the FiA showed that production of juvenile fish at stations and aquaculture centres nationwide, coupled with the production of farmers, amounted to more than 324 million juvenile fish.
This was an increase of more than 37 per cent compared to 2020. The country, however, requires some 500 million juvenile fish to meet the local demand, a gap that is filled by imports from Vietnam.