|A cow farm in Tay Ninh province. (Photo: channuoivietnam.com)
Livestock production would be developed by modernising and industrialising large-scale and household farms between 2020 and 2030, said Nguyen Xuan Duong, acting Director of the Livestock Production Department.
The industrial-style animal husbandry would be associated with organic and traditional farming, he said at a meeting on October 25 on Strategies of Livestock Development by 2020 and 2030 held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Between 2020 and 2030, the sector would focus on breeding pigs, poultry, cows and dairy cows, which could help bring into full play the country’s potential and expand the export market.
To realise the set targets, the industry would re-organise slaughtering and processing networks to ensure veterinary hygiene, food safety and environmental protection.
“So far, the animal husbandry sector has become a commodity production,” said Duong.
Large and industrial- scale farms account for 45 percent of farms nationwide producing more than 60 percent of the output, he said.
“The sector had attracted a large number of social resources to invest in livestock development, especially foreign investors,” he told the meeting.
“The productivity and production costs improved significantly,” he added.
Since 2008, the husbandry sector had gained achievements, producing a variety of items to meet domestic demand.
Vietnam has become the biggest producer of animal feed in the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The yield of cow milk was as high as that of Israel, the Republic of Korea and Japan.
However, breeding proportion in agricultural production reached only 31.5-32 percent, lower than the target of 42 percent.
The reason was that the majority of localities had focused on planting trees, fruits, vegetables and flowers while they had not yet adequately invested in livestock production.
In the Central Highlands Mekong River Delta regions, animal breeding accounted for only 15 or 20 percent of agricultural production.
In pig breeding, the strategy set a target of increasing 2 percent annually in terms of herds reaching 35 million heads by 2020.
Over 10 years, the pig herds had increased 0.5 percent with total heads ranging from 26 to 29 million.
However, the poultry breeding had gained a growth rate of 5.1 percent, higher than the target. The total poultry had reached 409 million, exceeding the plan by 136 percent.
Duong also pointed out shortcomings of the sector. Food safety, hygiene and disease control in livestock had exposed many shortcomings.
The recent outbreak of African swine fever occurred in many localities, causing big losses to farmers.
Treatment of waste from husbandry activities had not yet been solved while it was a key factor causing rural environmental pollution.
In fact, if husbandry waste was properly treated, it would be a valuable resource to produce organic fertilisers and biogas worth 15-20 billion VND a year.
To accelerate the animal husbandry industry, the government should offer incentives to lure investment from all economic sectors, of which tax and land use policies were key factors, said Duong.