Farmers, businesses on tangent in Mekong Delta

Farmers and businesses in the Mekong Delta have serious differences in assessing farm produce prices and payment terms, with each accusing the other of breach of contracts or trying to squeeze prices.

Farmers harvest pangasius fish in the Mekong Delta (Photo: SGGP)

According to a survey made by Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Can Tho City, farmers lament that businesses usually find a pretext to squeeze prices.

In response, businesses say that farmers regularly break contracts and don’t stick to initial negotiations. For instance, they use stimulants to rapidly increase weight of sea foods, vegetables or fruits during harvest time. Farmers also fail to follow proper technical processes to ensure quality standards of farm produce.

Nguyen Huu Duyen, chairman of Chau Phu pangasius fish cooperative in An Giang Province, said that there is an imbalance in trade relations between farmers and businesses.

Specifically, businesses don’t leave a deposit for big contracts to buy pangasius and pay in cash. The payment is usually made one month to one year after businesses buy fish. During that period, farmers still have to pay bank interest, leading thousands of pangasius fish breeders to go bankrupt as has been the case recently, said Duyen.

Nguyen Van Nhut, deputy director-general of Nam Viet Company in An Giang Province, said that it is not feasible and rather risky for businesses to leave an advance deposit.

Nguyen Phuong Lan, head of the legislative division of VCCI in Can Tho, affirmed that breach of contract between farmers and businesses has increased. Local authorities and related associations should now help in reconciling trade relations between farmers and businesses.

By Binh Dai – Translated by Hai Mien

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