Price instability threatens Vietnam's salt harvesters

By Thanh Nien News, TN News

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 Photo courtesy of Lao Dong Newspaper
Salt harvesters in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu are struggling to make ends meet as the price of salt has plummeted.
Bac Lieu, often called the salt capital of Vietnam, contains 2,368 hectares of salt fields.
Twenty years ago, a single kilogram of salt sold for the same amount as 10 kilograms of rice.
Today, the opposite is true. A kilogram of salt fetches VND700-1,000 (3-4.7 U.S. cents); 10 kilograms are worth even less than a single kilogram of rice.
The delta's salt harvesters must sell 50 kilograms of salt in order to buy a bowl of pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) in Hanoi.
Early this year, the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam awarded Bac Lieu the brand protection of geographical indications (GIs) for its salt. But the move has yet to have any sway over the price of Bac Lieu's salt.
As the rainy season has approached, the salt season came to an end. This year, Bac Lieu salt farmers said they had not harvested much. 

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