Lobster farmers in Phu Yen Province are in need of new loans to continue their business after most of their farms were damaged in Storm Damrey.
Lobster cages are damaged by the Storm Damrey in Phu Yen Province
The majority of households in Phu Yen live on aquaculture with Song Cau and Vung Ro communes the province’s lobster hubs. Storm Damrey swept away almost everything and caused severe damage.
Song Cau communal authorities reported that over 900,000 lobster were gone and the total damage was estimated at VND175bn (USD7.7m). Over 186 lobster cages in Vung Ro Commune, 50% of the total cages, have also been damaged.
Nguyen Thi Sau, a local in Vinh Hoa Village, Song Cau said, “The storm swept away more than VND1.1bn (USD48,500) we saved up for years. The farmers want to start over again but we don’t have the money.”
Another local Tran Xuan Long said his household lost VND250m (USD11,000). “Most farmers lost everything. They had borrowed, put up their houses as collateral in order to open the farms. We hope to get support from the government to overcome this difficult time,” he said.
The farmers are still diving to search for their missing lobsters. Many are struggling to raise the surviving lobsters.
The delegation of the Directorate of Fisheries and other agencies in Phu Yen Province surveyed the damage and agreed that funding was a major problem. The farmers borrowed money to raise lobsters so they are incurring huge debts after the storm.
Tran Dinh Luan, vice head of the Directorate of Fisheries said the government had directed related agencies to deal with the aftermath of the storm and banks have been asked to review and freeze loans. Luan said banks should also help farmers with new low-interest loans.
“One of the solutions is to form co-operatives with more modern technology to avoid similar losses,” he said.
Nguyen Tri Phuong, deputy director of Phu Yen Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said they were surveying the damage to ask for support from the government.