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Meat Imports a Possibility

by 5m Editor
11 August 2008, at 9:27a.m.

VIET NAM - It may be necessary to import pork, beef and poultry at the end of this year if the animal production and feed industries fail to solve their current problems.

The warning came from Le Ba Lich, chairman of the Viet Nam Animal Feed Association.

An official source reports Mr Lich saying that many pig farmers, especially in southern provinces, quit the business when feed prices shot up.

The current price of pig feed is 8,500 dong (VND; US$0.50) per kilo. To produce one kilo of pork, 2.6 kilo of feed are needed, costing VND22,100 ($1.30).

Meanwhile, a kilo of live pig goes for VND32,000-34,000 ($1.90-2.00) in the south of the country, and VND28,000-30,000 ($1.70-1.80) in the north.

With capital used to buy breeding animals and animal feed coming from loans with 20 per cent interest, farmers cannot afford to continue their line of work, Mr Lich said.

On top of these financial concerns, blue ear disease and avian flu have also contributed to the current meat shortage.

Pork accounts for 80% of the country’s meat consumption, chicken 11-12% and beef 3-4%.

Meat consumption is especially high during the Christmas, New Year and Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays, according to Mr Lich.

To avoid meat shortages and encourage pig farming, Mr Lich said, the association plans to invest in production and imports of raw materials for producing animal feed.

The association asked the Ministry of Finance to eliminate the value added tax (VAT) for raw produce, banks to decrease interest rates and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to reorganise distribution systems.

5m Editor