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Rising cattle prices challenge dairy production

Update: September, 11/2010 - 10:21

Farmer cares for cows in Ba Vi District in Ha Noi. Skyrocketing prices have created challenges as cow breeders try to increase breeding to meet the city's growing demand for milk. – VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

Farmer cares for cows in Ba Vi District in Ha Noi. Skyrocketing prices have created challenges as cow breeders try to increase breeding to meet the city's growing demand for milk. – VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

HA NOI — Skyrocketing prices create challenges as cow breeders try to increase breeding to meet the city's growing demand for milk.

Nguyen Van Buoi, a farmer in Ba Vi District's Yen Bai commune, said many households lacked the capital necessary to expand production because of these increased prices. He added that some households in the commune could not buy calves due to the high prices and many had to travel to Nghe An and HCM City to purchase them.

Director of the Ha Noi Centre for Cattle Breeding Development, Ta Van Tuong, said that the number of cows increased significantly in the first seven months of the year in the city's suburban districts with the total number of cows reaching 8,200, an increase of 3 per cent from the same period last year.

"Last month alone the number of cows increased to 500 as farmers bought cow breeds in order to expand their production scale," Tuong said. He added that milk consumption had greatly benefitted breeders and contributed to the growing demand of farmers for more cow breeds."This is the reason that calf breed prices have risen in many large breeding areas, such as Tan Linh, Yen Bai and Van Hoa communes in Ba Vi District, the Tan Dan commune in Soc Son, Trung Mau, and the Phu Dong communes in the Gia Lam district," he said.

The centre said the price of a three-month old calf is VND10-12 million (US$515-618), which is VND3 million ($154) higher than the corresponding period last year. Prices of a pregnant cow are VND27-30 million ($1,392-1,546) and sometimes as much as VND40 million ($2,062), VND5-6 million ($258-309) higher than last year.

However, Tuong warned farmers to be careful when buying cow breeds at this time to avoid an "illusive price fever". He said this was not the first time that there was a price fever of cow breeds, adding that farmers in suburban districts faced this problem seven years ago. The price of an imported cow was VND40 million ($2,062), while domestic ones were VND28-30 million ($1,443-1,546).

"Cow breeders should not import too many cows at this time because the price of milk has increased from VND2,500 in 2004 to VND9,000 per litre this year," he added.

He also said that in the first seven months of the year, the price of food increased 30 per cent from the same period last year and the cost accounted for 60 per cent of total cow breeding costs.

He said the centre has implemented artificial inseminate to support breeders in the city develop their cow herds. "We have collaborated with milk businesses to build a programme that will increase cow breed quality. The enterprises will import high-quality cow breeds, lend cows to farmers and offer a discount on milk productivity," he added. – VNS

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