|Viet Nam has gradually restructured its livestock industry towards turning out high-quality products, with high added value to ensure sustainable development.—Illustrative image
HCM CITY (VNS)— Viet Nam has gradually restructured its livestock industry towards turning out high-quality products, with high added value to ensure sustainable development.
The assessment was confirmed by director of the Department of Livestock Production Hoang Kim Giao, who added, "the number of dairy cows rose by more than 10 per cent on average in the past five years, reaching 167,000 heads last year."
Speaking at a seminar on the newest and most innovative advances in genetics and nutrition for dairy cows and beef cattle in HCM City yesterday, he revealed that the country's total milk output last year topped 382,000 tonnes, up over 10 per cent from 2011.
The quality of the breeding cows is the decisive factor in animal breeding, he said, adding that most farmers want cows that are suitable to their ecological conditions and that have high productivity.
Many measures, including artificial insemination, exist to create good quality breeders. Artificial insemination is the most effective tools available to cattle producers to improve productivity and profitability of their cattle operations, he said.
Ho Mong Hai, an expert at the Department of Livestock Production, told Viet Nam News, "the country currently lacks both facilities and human resources to conduct research on animal breeders."
"The country has imported a large amount of high-quality dairy cow and beef-cattle gene sources to meet local demand," he said.
Because of this, the local industry needs to regularly follow the latest advances in genetics that allow high productivity. This can reduce production costs and raise competitiveness, he said.
Frank Joseph, a representative from the US Department of Agriculture, said demand for milk and higher-quality meat was increasing in Viet Nam.
This creates opportunities for the country to further develop higher-quality dairy cows and beef cattle, he said, adding that producers must acquire breeding expertise and the latest innovative technologies.
At the conference, two US experts spoke about semen technology, the newest reproductive technology for the beef industry, and management practices to increase the conception rate in artificial insemination programmes.
The conference, organised by the Department of Livestock Production and the Asia-Pacific Dairy Cattle Co Ltd, was attended by more than 100 delegates, including animal health officials, scientists and representatives from enterprises. — VNS