The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has set several targets for the year, including reaching a growth rate of 7.5-8 percent for the husbandry industry during the period 2011-15.

The goal is to have a total of 4.28 million tonnes of live meat of all kinds and an animal feed output of 12 million tonnes for the industrial husbandry.

To meet the target, the ministry has proposed expanding the industrialised animal husbandry; setting up specialised farming areas linked to processing industries; and increasing the cultivation of grass, corn and soybean to ensure sufficient volume of animal feed and breeding practices.

In addition, the ministry has asked local authorities to devise measures to prevent epidemics like those caused by blue-ear and foot-and-mouth diseases.

It requires all parties to ensure foodstuff safety and hygiene.

To improve the competitiveness of the husbandry industry, several new programmes will be launched.

However, the Vietnamese Market Analysis and Forecast Joint-Stock Company (AGROMONITOR) forecasts a meat market that will experience fluctuations this year.

The input material costs will continue to increase due to an imbalance between supply and demand.

Moreover, the electricity price, petrol price, labour cost, foreign exchange and interest rate are expected to increase sharply.

The economic recovery with targets of GDP 7-7.5 percent and GDP per capita of 1,300 USD will raise consumer demand this year.

According to the General Statistics Office, the production value of Vietnam 's husbandry sector reached 35.367 trillion VND (1.7 billion USD) last year, an increase of 5.4 percent compared to 2009.

With such growth rate, the husbandry sector has become a sector with the biggest growth rate among the agricultural sector (cultivation, husbandry and services).

For the first 11 months of last year, the country's meat import turnover reached 89.8 million USD, a decrease of 4.4 percent and 50.4 percent compared from 2009 and 2008.

Vietnam also earned 35 million USD from exporting meat, a decrease of 15.1 percent and 35.7 percent over 2009 and 2008, respectively.

Last year, the spread of blue-ear disease and an increase in animal feed price were the two most significant factors that affected the meat supply volume and prices./.