Sustainable and Equitable Shrimp Production and Value Chain Development

Shrimp production in Vietnam is a booming business, with the sector growing more than 300 percent in terms of volume between 2001 and 2012. Shrimp farming provides a livelihood for more than one million people and has the potential to substantially improve the income of small-scale producers, who are responsible for 80 percent of production.

However, there are a number of barriers that are hindering growth. For example, the linkages between various shrimp value chain actors, such as producers, processors and exporters, are fragmented. This is affecting product quality and decreasing the competitiveness of the sector. Limited access to financial resources is also preventing small-scale producers from expanding their production.

In addition, while a number of national and global industry standards have been introduced in Vietnam, many shrimp producers and processors do not properly understand these standards or their implications and therefore do not adhere to them. Finally, there are also negative environmental and social impacts associated with shrimp production. For example, mangroves and other wetland habitats are being destroyed, and chemicals and antibiotics from shrimp farms are polluting the environment.

Promoting global and national standards

Oxfam’s efforts to ensure sustainable and responsible shrimp production and value chain development in Vietnam are involving small-scale shrimp producers and processors in the Mekong Delta, the main shrimp production area. First, we support adoption of global standards and norms on sustainable shrimp production by Vietnamese shrimp producers. These standards will help producers increase their market share in export markets and will minimise the social and environmental footprint of shrimp production.

Secondly, Oxfam helps Vietnamese shrimp producers and processors conform to best management practices. This includes supporting them to access finance and improving their production efficiency, such as through the introduction of affordable and environmentally-friendly technologies and improved access to technical and market information.

Empowering small-scale shrimp producers

If small-scale shrimp producers and relevant associations and producer groups join together, they will collectively have a stronger voice in business negotiations and policy dialogues. Oxfam makes use of its existing relations with EU importers to support small-scale producers to market their responsible products, which in turn will create additional incentives for sustainable production.

Oxfam activities add value to government credit policies by bringing banks together with small-scale shrimp producers and processors who need credit. Oxfam supports borrowers to develop financially viable business plans that take sustainable production principles into account. We also strengthen the skills of bank staff to assess loans that adhere to sustainable value chain principles.

Throughout the project, Oxfam works with ICAFIS, a local NGO linked to the Vietnam Fisheries Society that promotes sustainable fisheries development, as well as producer associations, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, the Vietnam Directorate of Fishery, local governments and financial institutions.

Lessons learnt from the project will be used to advocate for a national policy environment that supports responsible shrimp value chain development. Good production practices and examples of successful shrimp association collaborative models will be documented and disseminated to other provinces and linked to other Oxfam initiatives, such as the GRAISEA programme.


Project: Sustainable and equitable shrimp production and value chain development in Vietnam

Location: Soc Trang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau provinces

Time frame: 2016-2020

Funding: EuropeAid, Oxfam core funding