Salt price increases, middlemen benefit

16:38 | 23/10/2017 Society

The price of salt has risen this year but middlemen, rather than farmers, have benefited.

Illustrative image - Source: VNA

According to Bac Lieu province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, the price of salt has doubled in comparison with early this year.

However, farmers are not enjoying profits from the price increase because 43,000 tonnes of salt are being kept at dealers’ stores.

Nguyen Van Khoi, a salt maker in Dien Hai commune, Dong Hai district said: “Dealers bought all the salt right after harvesting. We have recognized that they bought at a lower price than the market, but we needed money to live and had nowhere to keep the salt.”

The price gap is estimated at around 30 percent.

There are few salt makers who have a big enough storage and enough money to be able to keep their salt after harvesting. Most produce on a small plot of land, have no place to store salt and therefore often have to accept a low price offered by the dealers.

The price of salt fluctuates and is often not enough for the farmers to live on. Many households have to do other jobs besides making salt.

Nguyen Truong Han, head of the Dong Hai district’s Agriculture and Rural Development Sub-department explained that the salt price has increased because Bac Lieu province decided to reduce the salt making area.

“Only dealers benefit from the price hike,” he said.

The price hike also happened in the southern province of Ninh Thuan, the biggest salt maker in the region with 3,600ha in cultivation.

For the last few months, unusual rains have reduced the supply of salt and increased the price. Dealers who recognized the situation bought at a low price and now earn a big profit.

In Ninh Thuan, salt makers can produce 50 tonnes for each hectare if the weather is favorable.

Theo VNA