Experts months ago warned that the domestic animal husbandry would “die young” as Australian beef was flooding the Vietnamese market. However, they have had a change of opinion as some businesspeople with powerful financial capability and new business strategies have committed to pour capital into the sector, said the English language news portal VietNamNet Bridge.

Australian beef products are available everywhere in Vietnam, from supermarkets and frozen food shops to online shops, targeting different classes of consumers thanks to their good quality and reasonable prices.

Nguyen Dang Vang, chair of the Vietnam Animal Husbandry Association, was cited as saying that Vietnam imported 3,000 Australian cows only in 2012, but the figure jumped to 70,000 in 2013. In the first half of 2014 alone, 72,000 Australian cows were imported, the double the amount of the same period last year.

It is expected that 150,000 Australian cows will be imported to Vietnam by the end of the year for slaughtering.

The high volume of imported live cows, plus frozen beef, has turned Vietnam into the second biggest Australian cow and beef consumer in the world.

A report showed that 4,000 cows are consumed in Vietnam every day, including 600 cows in Ho Chi Minh City. About 70 percent of fresh beef sold in Ho Chi Minh City is Australian beef.

Big firms step in
A number of powerful conglomerates have released plans to make investments in the agricultural sector.

Commenting about the new investors, analysts said they are “rookies” in the field, but must not be called “amateurs” because they have been following methodical and well-prepared business strategies.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, a big real estate developer, has kicked off a 6.3 trillion VND project on breeding 236,000 cows, including 120,000 milk cows and 116,000 meat cows.

The group plans to launch its beef products into the market in mid-2015 through Vissan, a food processing company, hoping to gain turnover of 30-50 million USD.

Duc Long Gia Lai Group, a big investor in many business fields, including hydropower plants, hotels, mining and wooden furniture manufacturing as well as infrastructure development, has injected 11 trillion VND into a 125,000-cow project.

Meanwhile, Thanh Thanh Cong, a big sugar company owned by a well-known businessman, the owner of a big bank in Vietnam, has kicked off a project to breed 100 Kobe cows.

Analysts believe these powerful conglomerates can aid in the recovery of the domestic animal husbandry as they are all capable investors.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai owns 100,000 hectares of agricultural land in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia which could be a huge animal feed-supply source. Meanwhile, Duc Long Gia Lai also has a large land area for agriculture where it has been growing rubber, sugar cane and corn.

Though the projects would provide only 160,000 meat cows to the market, they would encourage more investors to pour money into the husbandry sector.-VNA