Efforts needed to develop salt industry

For the sustainable development of salt industry, it is required to develop the production of salt and diversify salt products to meet domestic demand that supplies other industries, moving towards the aim for export.

Salt is an essential commodity, playing a crucial role in ensuring national food security. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the demand for salt in our country is about 1.5-1.6 million tons per year, but domestic production can only meet about 1 million tons, mainly for consumption. However, salt for industry and medical fields still needs to be imported because domestic production does not meet the requirements for quantity, quality, and price competitiveness.

Therefore, the Government's salt industry development plan aims to achieve a total production area of ​​14,500 hectares and a production volume of 1.5 million tons per year nationwide by 2025. By 2030, the target is to reach an area of ​​14,244 hectares and a production volume of 2 million tons per year.

To achieve this goal, it is necessary to invest in developing salt production linked with processing and market expansion. Additionally, efforts should be made to enhance research and application of scientific and technological advancements in salt production to increase productivity, quality, and diversify products. It is also crucial to revive, preserve, and develop traditional salt-producing villages as well as diversify salt-related products in conjunction with rural tourism in local areas.

Along with that, to meet the demand for industrial and medical salt, which currently accounts for about one third of the total salt consumption nationwide, equivalent to about 400-600 tons of salt needing to be imported annually, it is essential to not only increase production but also improve its quality. Salt farmers, cooperatives, and salt-producing enterprises need to establish models for producing clean salt, ensuring source traceability, applying good technological processes, developing salt brands, and establishing strong market connections.

At the same time, to create a "development space" for the salt industry, it is necessary to generate more added value for this sector, shifting from a mindset of salt production to building a salt-based economy. Salt should be considered not only as a seasoning but also as a crucial ingredient for producing food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, which should be integrated with values from tourism and services. This requires cross-sectoral approach and inter-agency coordination.

The Bac Lieu Salt Festival first held in 2024 is a new approach to enhance the value chain of salt. This event is expected to not only promote and introduce domestic salt products in general and Bac Lieu salt in particular, but also to promote commercial investment and attract organizations and enterprises to invest in salt industry. Moreover, it aims to integrate multiple values through leveraging the strengths of the seafood processing industry and establishing Bac Lieu Salt Village as a tourist destination that offers diverse and unique experiences to tourists, contributing to the cultural industry.

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