Gov’t buys salt to help farmers in Ben Tre Province

The Northern Food Company has just bought salt from farmers in response to the Prime Minister’s guideline of purchasing salt for farmers while the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Mekong delta province of Ben Tre said that around 44,000 tons of salt is in stock.

Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Van Lam said the province has 1,600 hectare of salt farm mostly in districts Binh Dai and Ba Tri. Last time, the productivity of salt in the province increased by nearly 11,000 tons compared with the same period last year.

However, salt price is averagely VND350 per kilogram, or sometimes it even fell to VND250 a kilogram. Low price and stagnant consumption drove salt farmers into difficulties. Despite cheap price, farmers still sold it to start new crop.

Following the Prime Minister’s guideline of purchasing salt for farmers, the Northern Food Company has planned to buy salt from low-income farmers at the price of VND600 a kilogram and it has bought total 3,128 tons.

To improve salt quality, three years ago, the provincial agriculture sector has adopted models of making clean salt yet most farmers have hesitated as the price is cheap and the consumption is unstable.

Director Lam added that the Ministry of Investment and Planning is balancing the capital because it will invest VND57 billion in the salt production infrastructure in communes Bao Thanh and Bao Thuan in Ba Tri District, aiming to improve salt making in the province.

Deputy Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Lap said that next time the province will shrink the land for salt production to 600 hectare and the remaining land will be converted into growing and breeding other plants or animals. He stressed that to sell salt at higher price and improve the competition, farmers should improve product quality.  

By Hien Trang - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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