|Viet Nam earned $2.95 billion from rice exports but spent $4 billion to import animal feed and inputs for feed production last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY (VNS) — Experts discussed measures to enhance the competitiveness of the domestic animal breeding industry at a seminar in HCM City yesterday.
According to the Southern Centre for Agriculture Policy and Strategy, the animal husbandry industry has played an increasingly important role in the country's agricultural sector.
With the country's economy deeply integrating into the world economy, the industry will no doubt face many challenges, it said.
Nguyen Thanh Son, head of the National Institute of Animal Husbandry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said there were four bottlenecks in the industry: animal strains and productivity, animal feed, production system and State management.
Therefore, to improve the competiveness of the industry, these four issues must be resolved, he said.
Regarding animal feed, Son said relevant management agencies did not receive the exact numbers for animal feed output since animal feed production companies had not reported their production figures.
"We also do not know their production costs and sale prices," he said.
Nguyen Van Giap from the Southern Centre for Agriculture Policy and Strategy said animal feed producers declared that they earned a profit of 1-3 per cent for every kilo of animal feed.
"But according to insiders, this ratio must be higher, around 10-15 per cent. However, this information has not been verified by any management agency or research institute because they cannot access information related to production costs from businesses," he said.
In addition, State agencies had been unable to control animal feed quality, delegates said.
There was a situation of "price anchoring" in the animal feed market that helped producers in making profit, Son said.
Doan Xuan Truc, deputy chairman of the Animal Husbandry Association of Viet Nam, said: "Since animal feed accounts for 70-75 per cent of animal production costs, if we don't pull down the feed price, animal breeding cost cannot be reduced, and we can't improve the competitiveness of the animal husbandry industry."
He suggested that the Government should enhance inspection of animal feed quality and price.
Delegates also suggested to the Government to reduce the bank loan interest rate to a level equal to that in other countries in an effort to help local firms cut back input costs.
Le Ba Lich, chairman of the Viet Nam Animal Feed Association, petitioned the Government to enhance trade barriers for imported meat products and allow non-government organisations and business associations to take part in mapping out these trade barriers.
In addition, administrative procedures should be further reformed to facilitate enterprises' operations, he said.
Measures to control unhealthy competition among large animal feed producers were needed, Giap said.
Besides, the Government should set the maximum profit rate for animal feed products and asked businesses to declare their selling prices, he said, adding that the Government also needed to keep a close eye on mergers and acquisitions among domestic and foreign companies involved in the animal feed production. — VNS