Viet Nam News
Nguyễn Đức Trọng, deputy director of the Animal Health Department, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, speaks to the newspaper Nông thôn Ngày nay (Countryside Today) on the country’s efforts to restore livestock production as soon as floodwaters recede.
What losses have been inflicted on the animal husbandry industry by the recent floods in the central and northern mountainous provinces?
Heavy rains and tropical storms have caused havoc on people living in the central and northern mountainous provinces in the last few days. The animal husbandry industry and those who rely on it have been among the hardest hit. Some 11,000 livestock and 300,000 domestic fowls were killed in last week’s floods. Meanwhile, almost 127,000 ha of agricultural plants and forest trees were submerged.
About a month earlier, farmers in both the central and northern mountainous provinces suffered a big loss in their pig-raising revenue due to a steep drop in the prices of live pigs. As a result, many households had to give up their pig-raising practices.
Heavy losses in pig rearing in the previous month, coupled with the damage wrought by the recent tropical storms, have left many households on the verge of sliding back into poverty. They don’t have money to buy piglets to prepare for the upcoming Lunar New Year Festival, which will fall in mid-February 2018.
Generally speaking, the recent natural calamities have not seriously affected the market prices. But flooded areas have been directly impacted by a shortage of inputs for the animal husbandry industry, as well as damaged or inaccessible transportation infrastructure. However, it is projected that meat supply nationwide will not be seriously affected, even for the upcoming Lunar New Year Festival.
Does your department have any recommendations for localities in handling the aftermath of the recent natural calamities?
We have strongly emphasised the importance of environmental hygiene following the floods. For example, in the Thanh Hóa Province, where thousands of pigs were killed in the recent flood, we have advised the farmers to take immediate sanitation actions after the water recedes to avoid any epidemic that might occur. We also advise them to spray disinfectants to keep the environment clean. We then advise them to prepare the breeding facilities to resume their animal rearing, and particularly to focus on piglet health and feed quality.
What is more important right now is to build new breeding facilities and have them ready to receive new piglets. Last but not least, we need to have high quality animal feed ready for the new herds.
Does the animal husbandry sector have any plans to support farmers in their efforts to produce new pig herds?
In early 2017, the Government issued the Decree 02 on policies to support agriculture in regions which are damaged by natural calamities or epidemics. That’s why immediately following the natural disasters we asked all affected farming households and farms to submit reports immediately to the local authorities detailing the losses they incurred.
Meanwhile, we have also instructed the local authorities to verify the reports as soon as possible so that we can help the farming households and farm owners restore their production as soon as possible. — VNS