(CPV) - The renovation of the Thuan An Port in Viet Nam’s Thua Thien Hue which started in the middle of April 2012 will benefit fishers, traders and consumers in the province by improving the hygiene of fisheries products and enhancing the potential for more value-added marketing activities.
The renovation is being funded by the Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme (RFLP), an initiative funded by Spain and implemented by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Thuan An is the only fishing port among approximately 40 landing sites in Thua Thien Hue. Annually, approximately 7,000 fishing vessel visit this port. Presently, infrastructure and facilities at the port are insufficient to provide basic services for fishers to land their catch and for middle-traders to conduct trading activities.
Therefore, it has become a pressing demand to renovate infrastructure and provide adequate facilities to improve hygiene and food safety conditions, as well as initiate business services including auction possibilities.
In response to a request by Thua Thien Hue Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), RFLP has agreed to release funding of around US$55,000 for the port renovation. The key features of this renovation include the expansion of the trading hall by an additional 150 square metres (the current total area is 500 square metres); improvement of water supply, drainage system and toilets; installation of lighting and garbage bins; and, the establishment of a fish auction area for major sellers.
Against a background of declining inshore resources for economic activities, it is crucial that local fishers and traders are able to accrue profits more efficiently from limited resources. The renovation will help by facilitating better product handling after capture. This will reduce spoilage, improve product quality and food safety, and ensure higher income for fishers as well as traders (who are mainly women) from the same catch. Equally important, the provincial authorities and fisheries management agencies will be able to better monitor fisheries harvest and trading at this major landing centre.
In the longer term, the improved port is expected to develop as a provincial fisheries trade centre and help increase the value of fisheries catch through fish auctions and other marketing activities. It is furthermore expected that fishing communities, in particular women, will benefit from enhanced participation and negotiating power in the process.
Mrs Yuriko Shoji, Food and Agriculture Organization representative in Viet Nam said, “This renovation will play a major role in enhancing the level of hygiene and quality of services provided by this major landing centre. It is a concrete example of FAO’s collaboration with Viet Nam which will lead to very real and long lasting benefits for a large number of people.”
Mr Jose Parajua, Regional Programme Manager of RFLP based in Bangkok said, “The renovation of Thuan An port is one of a series of activities RFLP is carrying out in Viet Nam to improve the livelihoods of fishers and their families. We are seeking to add value to fishers’ catch while at the same time better managing the use of this important natural resource.”
The Regional Fisheries Livelihood Programme for South and Southeast Asia (RFLP) sets out to strengthen capacity among participating small-scale fishing communities and their supporting institutions in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. By doing so the RFLP seeks to improve the livelihoods of fishers and their families while fostering more sustainable fisheries resources management practices.
The four-year (2009 – 2013), RFLP is funded by the Kingdom of Spain and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) working in close collaboration with national authorities in participating countries. In Viet Nam RFLP works in Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam and Quang Tri provinces./.