Salt prices fall, workers abandon Sa Huynh salt field

VietNamNet Bridge – Salt makers in Duc Pho district, Quang Ngai province, the home of the country’s largest salt field of Sa Huynh, have abandoned their job to earn their living by other jobs, far from home, because of the drop in salt prices.


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Although the 2016 salt season started over one month ago, many salt fields in Sa Huynh are empty now.

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Gia Tan Tau, Vice Chairman of Pho Thanh commune, said he has never seen so many families abandoning their salt fields like this year. The commune has nearly 120 hectares of salt fields belonging to about 590 households. 

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This year 120 households have not produced salt on 30 hectares. He said the amount of salt left from the previous crop is 2,000 tons. The salt prices have fallen to only VND400-600 a kilo so salt-makers have to find other jobs.

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Salt piles on the field, waiting for buyers.

Salt-maker Nguyen Quang Thanh said earnings from 20kg of salt is not enough to purchase a bowl of noodles so many salt-makers quit their job.

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Salt-maker Tran Ngoc Thach said his family left their 3,000 m2 salt-field abandoned. This is the first year in 40 years with such empty fields.


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Thach said it was absurd that Vietnam has more than 3,200 km coastline but the country has to import salt. Meanwhile salt makers in the central coastal region have had to abandon their rice fields.

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In 2011 the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of Science and Technology granted the "Sa Huynh salt" brand to salt makers of Pho Thanh commune, Duc Pho district. Chairman Nguyen Thanh Ut of the Salt Cooperative 1 worried about losing the Sa Huynh salt brand.

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 Salt-making tools.


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Quang Ngai Province built a salt processing plant in Sa Huynh but the plant stopped operation in 2010, and it has been abandoned.

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The situation is similar for salt-makers in Ly Nhon, of Can Gio District, HCM City

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Thanks to prolonged hot weather, salt-makers in Ly Nhon had a good salt season, but the prices fall.

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There are over 720 salt-making households in Can Gio district and most of them are in Ly Nhon commune. This is salt quality is very good but the price is only VND240/kg or VND24,000/100kg ($1)


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Ms. Nguyen Thi Tan, a salt-making facility, said she earned only VND6,500 of profit from 100kg of salt, which is not enough to buy a cup of coffee.

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This man earns VND90,000 ($4)/day for carrying 2 tons of salt from the salt warehouse to the wharf.



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This man is paid VND2,000 ($0.01) for carrying each 100kg of salt.



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Salt is shipped to other southwestern provinces like Long An, Dong Thap, An Giang...

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Ms. Kim Thoa and Mr. Thanh Minh, who own a boat, said they earned VND1 million of profit (nearly $50)/shipment from Ly Nhon to Go Cong (Tien Giang province). 


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An old man in the salt field.

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This woman said she was paid VND50,000 ($2.3) for a working day on the salt field.

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Salt-makers only work in six months/year. In the remaining raining months they have to do other jobs.


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 Some salt-fields in Ly Nhon are abandoned this year.


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An abandoned salt field.

Photo: Zing


Le Thuy
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