DONG NAI (VNS)— Meat supplies were plentiful and imports would not be necessary for the approaching Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, Department of Animal Husbandry director Hoang Kim Giao said on Monday.
Giao refuted rumours that approval would be given for 200,000 tonnes of meat to be imported for the period.
Figures for the department, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, showed pork supplies would increase by 2-3 per cent by the end of the year and poultry by 7-10 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Giao was speaking at southern Dong Nai Province's Association of Animal Husbandry seminar where he said meat prices would increase by only 8-10 per cent this year, compared to 20-30 per cent in previous years.
This was because farmers had been selling meat below cost due to the flood of imported meat on the domestic market, some of it low-quality.
Deputy chairman of the province's Thong Nhat District's People's Committee Huynh Thanh Vinh said losses by district farmers from May till November this year totalled VND330 billion (US$15.72 million), due to the decline in meat prices.
The association said the price of frozen chicken this month was only VND20,000 ($0.95) per kilo, a loss to the farmers of VND10,000 ($0.48) per kilo.
Phu Son Husbandry Company director Le Van Me said meat producers could not develop if imports were not tightly controlled.
Farmers called for tight controls on imports of frozen meat and by-products to prevent low-quality and expired meat being dumped on the market.
Giao called on ministries to bring frozen meat imports under tight control.
He said his department was considering allowing the imports of whole chickens only, as was the system in Thailand and Malaysia.
The association proposed price stabilisation policies be introduced for meat products to better encourage farmers. — VNS