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Producers Oppose Cheap Imports

by 5m Editor
15 December 2008, at 6:59am

VIET NAM - The country's poultry farmers are facing a flood of imported poultry products.

Inundation of imported poultry products in the market has forced the livestock breeding sector to take stronger measures to help domestic breeders raise competitiveness, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vu Van Tam, according to an official source.

Mr Tam said that the sector is dealing with many difficulties as outbreaks of blue ear disease in pigs and food and mouth disease in cattle have occurred in some localities. Increased price of feed and severe competitiveness from the imported products is also challenging the sector.

"The breeders must sell their products at a loss while the consumers have to buy these products at a higher price," he said.

Although the State has recently increased import tax, imported products still inundate the market, Mr Tam added.

Poultry farming in medium and large farms is developing in Viet Nam but slowly. There are about 3,000 poultry farms in the country, accounting for 16 per cent of total farms nationwide. Each farm has 5,000 to 10,000 chickens and ducks. The south-eastern area leads in poultry breeding with many farms having 50,000 to 100,000 chicken and ducks.

Deputy Director of Livestock Breeding Department, Nguyen Thanh Son, said there were some new models of poultry production including co-operatives, associations and clubs in which many breeders have co-operated with others to buy breeding poultry, feed and set up funding for loans.

"Such models have contributed to boosting the effectiveness of breeding as breeders jointly participate in advertising and building trademarks. This is an indispensable development trend," says Mr Son.

Besides strategies and policies for poultry breeding development issued by the Government and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, many localities have carried out land planning for concentrated breeding farms.

The central province of Binh Dinh is an example as it has marked off land for 10 concentrated breeding areas. Ha Tay, which recently merged into Ha Noi, has funded building infrastructure for concentrated breeding areas.

"This has not only helped improve the ability to compete, but also created sustainable development in the context of global commercialisation while raising incomes and contributing to preventing disease epidemics," says Mr Tam.

Success Story

Phan Thi Hanh, a poultry breeder in Rung Dai Village in the northern province of Bac Giang’s Yen The District, said her family makes an annual profit of VND150 million (more than US$9,000) from farming including poultry breeding, orchard and afforestation.

Mrs Hanh has used modern breeding technology to guide 180 local households in breeding chickens.

About 40 households have been given loans to develop farming, 13 of which have risen above the poverty line.

"For the coming lunar new year, my husband and I have prepared about 3,000 chickens," said Mrs Hanh.

They hope to earn 70 million dong (VND) during the holiday but the increasing price of feed may prove too great an obstacle.

It is reported that the price of feed has increased by over 40 per cent over 2007 but poultry product prices have gradually reduced, causing difficulties for the breeders. The price of one-day old breeding chickens has reduced by VND7,000 each while the price of processed chicken has declined by VND 8,000 per kilo.

Mr Tam said the sector should invest in producing enough breeding poultry and assign provincial breeding poultry centres to choose and improve the capacity of some locals breeding chickens and ducks.

The ministry has issued some measures to develop the sector, including strengthening inspection over poultry breeding conditions, monitoring closely for signs of bird flu and observing the consumption of poultry products in the market.

According to the Department of Livestock Breeding, there are about 247.3 million ducks and chicken nationwide this year, an increase of nearly 10 per cent over last year.

The country has this year imported 105 tonnes of chicken products and 1.2 million breeding ducks and chickens – more than twice the number in 2007.