Viet Nam News
Hoàng Thanh Vân, director general of the Department of Livestock Husbandry talks to Vietnam News Agency about what Việt Nam should do to ensure sustainable husbandry development
Do you have any comments on pig farming since late 2016 until now?
I have to say that our pig farming has recovered and developed rapidly since late 2016 following the grave mismatch between pork supply and demand.
It was reported that by late December, 2016, Việt Nam had a total of 29.2 million pigs – an increase of about 4 per cent against the year before. Then by early 2017, the number of pigs had increased considerably. As a result, by early March, many big herds reaching slaughter time increased considerably. As a consequence, pork prices fell for three months consecutively, from March to June this year. At points, they dropped to just about VNĐ20,000 ($0.88) per kilo of live pig.
The drop in the price caused a big problem to farmers. Of course, there are various causes of the problem. But in my opinion, the biggest problem for the surplus supply of pork is due to the big mismatch between supply and demand. When the pigs reach a certain weight, the farmers have to sell them to recover their investment. This is a problem pig farmers should be aware of in order to choose the time to start rearing their pigs so there is a match between supply and demand.
Fortunately, live weight prices have doubled compared to the previous two weeks, increasing from VNĐ20,000-22,000 per kilo to VNĐ40,000– 45,000 per kilo. In some localities the price jumped to VNĐ50,000.
Now, there are about 27 million pig nationwide.
In just a few months time, the Tết (Lunar New Year) will come, driving pork demand up. Do you have any recommendations to pig farmers?
At the moment, we have about 3.8 million sows. So I think with this number, we’ll have a good supply of pork in the upcoming Lunar New Year which will fall in early February 2018.
I advise all pig farmers to think twice before deciding to invest in rearing pigs for the Lunar New Year festival.
What should we do to avoid “false demand” in livestock production?
In the past two years, we have had the problem of “false demand” in livestock production. At the moment, we’re facing the mismatch in supply and demand of poultry products and cows.
However, with lessons learned from the recent pig crisis, it is time for policy makers and farmers to think carefully when they should invest in increasing their husbandry herds.
Last but not least, farmers should follow recommendations on husbandry rearing chains so origin tracing can be done. They should also be informed of market development, both home and abroad.
What can the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development do to help farmers avoid mishaps?
It is our ministry’s responsibility to issue instructions and guidance to farmers on their livestock and animal production.
However, farmers themselves should think twice before making final decisions and come together to find the best way to develop their production and to increase their income.
We also want to advise farmers that when their pigs reach a certain weight they should sell the pigs immediately and not wait for the price to increase.
Local authorities should exhibit high responsibility on animal slaughter activities and market management to control the market.
Do you have any forecasts for the husbandry market?
It’s tough to make predictions. However, I should say, at present pork consumption in Việt Nam is about 300,000 tonnes per month, plus about 150,000 tonnes of other meats.
It is our estimation that from now till the 2018 Lunar New Year, we have sufficient meat and eggs to meet market demand, including pork. It is projected the price of live pigs will be about VNĐ36,000 per kilo. — VNS