Viet Nam is restructuring its animal breeding sector to reduce the number of small-scale breeders, Nguyen Van Trong, deputy director of the Animal Husbandry Department told Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper.
What are the challenges facing the animal breeding sector?
The biggest challenge in the last few years is unstable price. There are various reasons for this, including an increase in the amount of imported meat, coupled with poor planning activities.
The driving force behind farmers' motivation in raising animals for meat is the market price. When the price is up, they tend to increase the number of animals and vice verse. As a result, the supply-demand relationship becomes disoriented.
In the restructuring process, what aspects will receive most focus?
Restructuring will focus on four things — animal husbandry, animal breeds, animal raising and marketing. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will focus on restructuring animal breeds, particularly the management of breeds.
This is a complicated issue as every household is capable of breeding animals if the industry is profitable. This is the weakest point in our control of quality breeding.
More recently the Department of Animal Husbandry conducted a pilot project on controlling boars in the provinces of Phu Tho, Nam Dinh, Ba Ria and Vung Tau. The project will be scaled up nation-wide.
Will you please elaborate on the objective of developing large-scale farms?
At present, eight million households raise poultry and four million raise pigs. So the project to restructure animal husbandry will attempt to reduce the number of animal breeding households to about 400,000. It will also increase more animal breeding farms. More specifically, this year, we plan to cut down about 10 per cent of the individual animal breeders.
It is reported that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is expected to be signed soon. If this is the case, it will pose big challenges for our animal husbandry sector. Does your department have any measures to respond to these challenges?
When Viet Nam's economy is deeply integrated into the world economy, no doubt, our animal breeding industry will face with many challenges. In the past several years, and even this year, our animal breeders have to grunt and bear many pressures, including volatile prices and epidemics.
To limit and gradually overcome negative effects of the situation, the Department of Animal Husbandry will regularly issue bulletins on the situation and prices to help farmers be more pro-active. In addition, my department also pursue a policy to make the animal breeding sector to go along the line of supply chains to improve the sector's competitiveness.
What's your position on the progress gained in the restructuring process of the animal husbandry sector?
We have to do it step by step. It will take us several years to achieve progress or positive changes. But I'm sure we'll achieve the final targets. — VNS