Paddy provides feed alternative
(VNS) Dr Tran Quoc Viet from the National Institute of Animal Husbandry told Tin Tuc (News) newspaper that using unmilled paddy rice and its by-products was a good way of reducing imports of raw materials.
Do you think heavy imports of raw materials poses potential risks for our livestock?
Yes, dependence on imported raw materials is not good. However, feed production in many countries, including Thailand, the Philippines, mainland China, Japan and South Korea, is also heavily dependent on imports.
In the integration of the world's economies, two-way trade, particularly in raw materials for animal feed, is normal.
I don't see any potential risks in importing raw materials as we have good control and management systems on quality. However, why don't we replace maize or wheat imports by making animal feed from our paddy grains and its by-products. Viet Nam is an agricultural nation with more than 7.5 million hectares of rice-fields. In 2011, its rice output was more than 42 million tonnes.
In the worst-case scenario, if we cannot increase rice exports, we can use a certain amount of paddy grains by-products for animal feed. On average, every year, we have to import about 4 million tonnes of raw materials, including maize and wheat to product animal feed.
Why don't we use paddy grains and its by-products to produce animal feed?
Products made from paddy grains, including broken rice and unpolished rice, are highly nutritious for animals. Technically speaking, they can easily replace maize and wheat in the animal feed industry.
However, from the economic perspective, whatever raw materials are used in producing animal feed, we have to consider the price of each. When paddy grains are sold at a higher price, no doubt we will continue to import maize and wheat. This is a key reason why animal-feed producers prefer to import them.
Do you think that in the years to come, animal feed producers will use more products from paddy grain for animal feed?
Well, it depends on the market. If paddy grains and their by-products are cheaper than those of the imported maize and wheat, animal-feed producers will turn to paddy and its by-products.
In my opinion, there are two ways to help solve the problem. The first is to create hybrid-rice with high yields, thus reducing the post-harvest loss. The other is to have a better mechanism in place, including the zoning of areas specialising in rice cultivation and in processing paddy grains by-products to supply the animal feed industry.
In addition, the Government should provide capital support to rice farmers to produce commercial paddy grain to supply the animal-feed industry. On the other hand, it could help animal breeders by providing manufacturers with access to low-interest credit so that they can buy paddy grains and by-products at a better price. — VNS