|A farmer in central Nghe An Province uses milking equipment to improve productivity and quality of fresh milk. Implementation of advanced technology in breeding milk cows would help the country reduce dependence on imports. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS)— Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu urged dairy cow breeders to implement advanced technology in order to increase their livestock numbers and improve productivity and quality of fresh milk.
At a conference co-organised on Wednesday in Ha Noi by the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, Association of Advanced Technology Enterprise in Agriculture; and the Israeli Embassy in Viet Nam, Thu said that applying advanced technology would help the country reduce dependence on imports.
Fresh milk production currently meets only 28 per cent of demand; moreover, about 20-50 per cent of milk fails to meet the standards of processing companies, forcing them to import the product from overseas, according to the agriculture ministry.
Chairman of the Viet Nam Livestock Association Nguyen Dang Vang said at the conference that imports totalled roughly US$841 million in 2012, making Viet Nam one of the top 20 milk-importing countries.
Vang recommended setting up an educational centre to teach farm owners how to take advantage of advanced technology.
The country aimed to have 500,000 milk cows by 2020 under a strategy to develop the domestic dairy cattle industry approved by the Government in 2008, Thu said.
There are an estimated 170,000 milk cows at present, a number that could be vastly increased by adopting new technology.
Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan said that advanced technology would also help milk processing companies become more competitive. — VNS