Salt farmers switch to other jobs as prices drop

16-Jun-2021 Intellasia | DTI News | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Many salt farmers in Binh Dinh Province are abandoning their farms due to falling salt prices and the arduous nature of the work.

The 65ha salt field in Cat Minh Commune, Phu Cat District, is the largest in Binh Dinh. 600 households used to work in this field, however, many have given up the work to find other jobs.

Chau Van Hung, vice chair of Cat Minh Commune, said many factors make working on the salt field unattractive, including low prices, hard work, and high transportation costs.

“Young people went to other provinces and cities to work at factories. Older people still work in the fields but everything is getting harder and harder,” Hung said.

53-year-old Truong Thi Can said, “A kilo of salt cost just 700 VND and 30kg is sold for VND20,000. Our hard work for a whole month earns just VND1m (USD43). How can we live on that?”

Nguyen Thi Hien from Duc Pho 1 Village confirmed that the prices had dropped from VND25,000 (USD1) to VND20,000 per 30kg. The farmers have to work under the scorching sun across 100 square metres. After three days, they make about 240kg of salt.

“This work requires you to work under the sun, the harsher the better it is for your salt. But the salt prices are too low. Only people who are too old to find other work at factories stay in the fields,” Hien said.

Statistics from the Department of Quality Management of Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products show that as of May 10, Binh Dinh has 132ha of salt fields, 21ha smaller compared to the same period in 2020. The output was over 5 tonnes of salt, a drop of 40 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

According to the authorities, the salt production area became smaller because the productivity of some fields was too low so the farmers had switched to raising fish or find other jobs.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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