Milking Vietnam’s dairy industry for all its worth

09:04 | 20/06/2019 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Milk consumption in Vietnam is higher compared with some other countries in the region, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, but is much lower than the world average. The export potential of Vietnamese dairy products is also high.

milking vietnams dairy industry for all its worth

Linkages with farmers provide businesses with stable supply of materials for milk processing facilities

Continuous export growth

General Department of Vietnam Customs data show that from 2016-2018, the export value of milk and milk products grew from US$84.47 million in 2016 to US$129.68 million in 2018. In the first three months of 2019, the export value reached US$48.6 million.

The export of milk and milk products is forecast to increase strongly in 2019 since domestic companies are promoting sales abroad. After more than six years of negotiations, a protocol on export of Vietnamese dairy products to China was signed on April 26, 2019, promising Vietnam opportunities to boost exports to this large market with 1.4 billion consumers.

Tong Xuan Chinh, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Livestock Production, believes there is much room for Vietnam to increase dairy exports to China. Since the melamine scandal in 2008, Chinese consumers have been doubtful of the safety of domestic dairy products.

Reducing dependence on imported materials

Although Vietnam currently ranks sixth among Asian countries in terms of milk production and fourth in terms of milk yield of the dairy herd, the country still has to import a large volume of milk and dairy products. In 2018, Vietnam spent US$962 million on dairy imports. Preliminary statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that in the first three months of 2019, Vietnam imported US$266 million worth of milk and dairy products, an increase of 8.5 percent compared with the same period last year.

To tap its potential and make the most of opportunities, the domestic dairy sector should focus on ensuring product quality and intensify research to create suitable products for export to each market. It also needs to pay greater attention to protecting the dairy herd from disease. Linkages between farmers and businesses should be established and maintained for mutual benefit.

Leaders of the Department of Livestock Production have requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to compile a policy on support for dairy farms and milk processing facilities in the 2020-2030 period and submit it to the prime minister for approval.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong:

Vietnam has potential to increase dairy sales. Domestic companies are capable of producing one million tonnes of

milk per year. Given the per-capita consumption of 25 liters per year, equivalent to one fourth of the world average,

Vietnam still has to import nearly one million tonnes of milk annually.

Thanh Ha