Expanded animal husbandry sector key to growth in Vietnam

VIETNAM - Director of the Animal Breeding Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Dang Vang, spoke to Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) about this year’s goals, reports Viet Nam News.
calendar icon 27 April 2006
clock icon 4 minute read

Q. Bird flu has been under control for more than 3 months but the price of safe poultry meat is still high. Meanwhile, the price of beef is high, but cow breeders are suffering losses. How do you explain this situation?

Last year, due to the bird flu pandemic, the livestock sector gained a growth rate of 0.9 per cent compared to 7.6 per cent in previous years.

After controlling the pandemic, the sector has gradually recovered. However, poultry with unknown origins has not yet been controlled and there is still a lack in the vaccine for one-day old chicks.

Since late January, the price of chicken has increased to between VND28,000 and VND45,000 per kg.

To cope with the pandemic, which can relapse any time, the promotion of industrialised, controlled poultry is necessary.

Last year, the number of pigs rose by 13.7 per cent, a five year record. As of the first quarter this year, the country’s pig herds have increased by 4.9 per cent. The scale of farms has expanded and they have applied advanced technologies for breeding and production.

Large-scale pig rearing for processing enterprises has been expanded in eastern areas of the South.

Dairy cow breeding has also developed nationwide. In the south a cow in the milking period produces a yield of 3,900-4,100 kg on average. However, the price of milk is low at VND3,900 per kg, discouraging to dairy breeders. Milk plants should increase the milk price to at least VND5,000 per kg to help the farmers.

Many localities have policies encouraging cow breeding by offering soft loans and providing breeds.

This year, the proportion of livestock breeding is planed to account for 24 per cent of agricultural production nationwide, compared to the present ratio of 20 per cent.

Q. Presently, feed production management is loose so many products are not of good quality. What is the role of State management in the field of feed production?

Throughout the country, there are 203 feed producing plants, 32 are foreign-invested plants and account for a big market share.

The demand for feed this year will be 4.6 million tonnes of processed feed and 75 million tonnes of fresh grass. To meet the demand, an area of 200ha for growing grass is needed. Growing maize and effectively using agricultural by-products should be promoted.

The department has been strengthening measures to control feed quality and set up production regulations. The department will collaborate with the mass media to publicise enterprises that violate regulations and produce low-quality products.

Q. What can the farmers and traders do to increase the quality of their products while ensuring a reasonable price?

Early this year, the government approved a breeding programme for planting and animal breeding for 2006-2010 and the Animal Breeding Department has been assigned to carry out a capacity building project for State management of livestock breeding.

The government has a policy to invest in hygienic slaughter-houses, meat processing and building specialised breeding units. Meanwhile the department encourages the establishment of commercial names and production associations among farmers.

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