HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam spent billions of dollars each year on importing animal feed, nearly 40 per cent of which came from China, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Husbandry Department Hoang Thanh Van said at a conference yesterday.
In the first six months of this year, Viet Nam paid about US$2.42 billion to import 5.9 million tonnes of animal feed, increasing 55 per cent and 29 per cent in quantity and value from the same period last year. The imported feed included corn, wheat, soybean, fish powder and rice bran.
Viet Nam also spent billions of dollars on animal breeds. The country imported more than 1,600 pigs and nearly 945,000 poultry for breeding purposes in the first seven months of this year, costing $1.45 million and $3.67 million respectively.
Van said Viet Nam had to import more feed and breeding stock to meet the increasing demand of local producers. While the country could produce more than 1 million tonnes of corn each year, local demand had risen to 5-6 million.
"We need to shift a number of areas used for rice cultivation to planting corn so we can increase the local supply," he said.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said that the animal health sector should also pay more attention to animal disease prevention and control, management of animal medicine and food safety and hygiene. The husbandry sector also needed restructuring in order to boost the competitiveness of its products, Phat said. — VNS