Livestock breeding needs improvements

12:09 | 02/12/2016 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Livestock breeding plays an important role in agriculture, accounting for 35 percent of total gross domestic product of the agricultural sector. Therefore, improving efficiency of the livestock sector in the context of international economic integration is seen as an urgent issue.

Advantages

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Livestock Husbandry, the number of poultry, its products and value in northern provinces have accounted for a large proportion throughout the country. Some concentrated livestock breeding areas have been established in recent times such as raising pigs and poultry in Red River Delta and buffalos in the northern midland and mountainous provinces. The value of poultry products in northern provinces reached an estimated VND122.94 trillion in 2015, accounting for 43.9 percent of total value of the country’s livestock sector, including 28.7 percent from Red River Delta provinces and 15.2 percent from the northern midland and mountainous provinces.

Livestock breeding has been developed under many forms in northern provinces such as businesses, farms and farming households. Many farmers have become millionaires with revenues of several hundreds of millions of dong each year, making positive contributions to local socioeconomic development. Many poultry products have its own brands in the market such as Yen The chicken, Tan Yen pig, Ba Vi cow, Hoa Vien wild boar and Bao Yen buffalo.

In addition to such potential and advantages, the livestock sector has also faced many challenges. In particular, the production scale has been fragmentary, while small-scale farming households have accounted for high percentage of about 69.9 percent in northern midland and mountainous provinces.

The number of poultry in Vietnam is high, ranking second in Asia and sixth in the world. However poultry exports have remained few, while animal feed production has a large dependence on imports. In addition to small scale of livestock breeding and low quality of breeding animals, the safe disposal of animal waste has not been properly concerned, while antibiotic residues in poultry products are at an alarming rate, which have caused food insecurity, affected reputation and reduced competitiveness. These restrictions have posed difficulties for the livestock sector in the context of international economic integration.

Solutions

To improve efficiency of the livestock sector in the country in general and in northern provinces in particular, the National Agriculture Extension Center has deployed many activities to turn disadvantages into competitive advantages. During the 2011-2013 period, the center implemented 10 agriculture promotion projects in the livestock sector with the participation of 6,092 households. In the 2012-2016 period, the center continues to implement seven projects for 7,714 households such as developing models of livestock breeding production in northern mountainous border provinces and quality improvement of cows and building the cattle breeding model aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To promote international economic integration of the livestock sector, Dr. Nguyen Trung Kien from the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development said that it is necessary to ensure transparency for market information systems, especially updating and guiding quality criteria, traceability of origin, food safety and hygiene standards. Promoting branding and copyright registration for poultry products, especially local and regional specialties are needed. Moreover, manufacturers and exporters are not allowed to hide any problems about product quality, while information on the labels must be honest and clear.

According to National Agriculture Extension Center Deputy Director, Dr. Ha Thuy Hanh, she proposed the adoption of land and investment policies to support the changes from small scale production to large farms. Moreover, strengthening management of livestock breeding, encouraging the use of breeding animals with clear origin, enhancing imports of breeding animals with high productivity and quality, conducting researches and promoting the application of scientific and technological achievements in livestock breeding following VietGAHP standards and ensuring biological safety and disease free to increase added value of poultry products are among the most important solutions.

It also requires to promote links among livestock production stages following the value chain, adopt policies and encourage connection between farmers and businesses to increase consumption. Developing branding for poultry products, strengthening trade promotion activities, expanding the domestic and foreign market, promoting links with businesses through cooperative groups and cooperatives and enhancing investment in production activities in order to turn small scale production models into large farms are also mentioned as necessary.

According to the General Statistics Office’s data, as of October 2015, there were approximately 2.52 million buffaloes, 5.36 million cows, 27.75 million pigs and 341.9 million poultry in the country. Vietnam’s poultry output ranks first in ASEAN, second in Asia and sixth in the world.

Nguyen Hanh