Vietnam is having a severe struggle with COVID that is affecting the production capability of its economically important food industry.
Bloomberg reports that the most intense wave of the pandemic, occurring in the second half of the year, has wreaked havoc with food exports. Seafood production has been cut in half and may drop another 30%. Exports of vegetables are expected to drop 30% in the second half of the year.
The biggest problem is that Vietnam, which has had trouble getting its citizens vaccinated – less than 1% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to Bloomberg – has had to resort to severe lockdown measures in the south, where most of its food is produced. Local COVID cases hit 160,000 in August, compared with 4,500 in late June.
The country’s farm ministry is pushing to get more agricultural workers vaccinated – currently the level is at 30% to 40%. Soldiers have even been called out in the Mekong Delta to help with the rice crop.