HCM CITY (VNS)— The country's livestock industry should be restructured in a sustainable and competitive manner over the next two years, the head of HCM City's Department of Livestock Production said at a conference held in HCM City yesterday.
Do Huu Phuong, head of the department's representative office, said a shift from small-scale household breeding to large-scale farming would enable farmers to supply products that meet export requirements.
Large-scale animal farms typically use advanced scientific technology for hybrid development, fodder production and farming.
Animal husbandry in Viet Nam, however, is characterised by small-scale, scattered farms.
Phuong said that in 2011, about 77 per cent of pig farms in the country and 88 per cent of chicken farms were small scale.
Farms should be restructured, Phuong said, so that productivity and quality could be improved. Protecting the environment and preventing disease were two other objectives, he added.
He said that the proportion of pork and poultry of total meat consumed in Viet Nam was 74 per cent and 17.1 per cent in 2012, respectively.
A policy to address this imbalance in consumption should be developed by the government, he said, adding that in the future, the livestock industry should focus on improving the quality, rather than quantity of pork.
At the same time, the poultry population should be increased, he said.
In areas where there is a high animal husbandry density, such as the Mekong Delta regions and urban areas, the livestock sector needed to be restructured, he said.
And it should be expanded in the Central Highlands and the northern mountainous provinces.
In 2011, the number of livestock farms in the Red River Delta accounted for 38.7 per cent of all farms in the country, while there were only 5.8 per cent in the Central Highlands region.
Vietnamese farmers, Phuong said, should also improve animal productivity through breeding, feeding and cages.
Currently, in Viet Nam a sow can produce 18 pigs per year, while in Thailand it is 25-26 pigs per year.
Although the domestic livestock industry has faced challenges, there is great potential in the future, Phuong noted.
He said that favorable government policies were needed to support animal-husbandry enterprises so they can have sufficient capital and engage in technology transfer.
Despite economic crises, Viet Nam's livestock sector has maintained an average growth rate of 5-6 per cent per year, ensuring local consumption demand.
Viet Nam's pork output is ranked first in Southeast Asia (42.2 per cent), second in Asia, and sixth worldwide, after China, US, Spain, Brazil, and Germany.
Viet Nam's animal-feed output ranks first in ASEAN countries.
Hoang Kim Giao, assistant minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that close linkages between businesses and farms should be promoted to ensure high quality and more competitive products.
"Farmers need to be more aware of environmental protection regulations and the need to prevent infections and the spread of disease," he said.
Hi-tech investment for sustainable development was also necessary, he added.
ILDEX Viet Nam
The conference in HCM City is part of a programme to promote the ILDEX Forum 2013 and an international exhibition on livestock, dairy, meat-processing and aquaculture (ILDEX Viet Nam 2014).
It was organised by Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co., Ltd. (VEAS) in collaboration with VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific Ltd.Co.
The forum will be held in Ha Noi on September 26-27. The aim is to increase the volume and value of livestock production, specifically in northern Viet Nam.
Animal farming, feed and animal health will be the focus of the ILDEX Forum in Ha Noi. Creating sustainable standards and productivity are two other aims.
The ILDEX Viet Nam Exhibition 2014 will be held on March 19-21, 2014 in HCM City. It is expected to attract more than 170 foreign and domestic companies.
The event will include technical seminars on livestock management and production as well as innovative knowledge and technology. — VNS