Illustrative image. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Better cooperation between farmers, businesses and buyers is improving product quality in the animal husbandry industry in Vietnam. 

Dr. Vo Trong Thanh, of the Animal Husbandry Department, said that over the last 10 years Vietnam had seen a 15 – 20 percent increase in output of animal products, an indication that the industry’s farming capability has improved.

Speaking at a recent conference on high-quality farming of animal products in HCM City, Thanh said that about 30 percent of animal farm facilities had switched to more industrial and professional methods.

In addition, favourable government policies, such as financial aid for land rental and equipment purchases, have encouraged animal husbandry development.

More firms such as Vissan, Dabaco and Vinamilk are working with farmers, providing high-quality animal feed, medicine, and advanced farming techniques to ensure quality and product traceability.

The companies’ distribution networks are also buying more products from farmers.

Dr. Michael Patching of Meat & Livestock Australia said that consumers today wanted consistently fresh and hygienic products from trustworthy sources, and were willing to pay more for such products.

Creating high-quality supply chains with product traceability is crucial to satisfying consumer demand for healthy food, said Nguyen Tri Cong, Director of Dong Hiep Service, Production and Processing Cooperative in Dong Nai province.

The cooperative helped farmers process and transport goods in a safe way, and connected them with buyers, he said.

Thanh said the ability to control supply and demand in the animal husbandry industry, however, was still limited, causing prices to often fluctuate.

Many farming and processing facilities still do not conform to health standards, and connections between firms and farmers need to be improved.

Competition from foreign goods and the threat of disease are also challenges for the industry to overcome.

Over the next 10 years, the number of professional farms is expected to increase, and the output of these farms is expected to account for 70-75 percent of all animal products, according to Thanh.  

Meanwhile, the number of small farming households is projected to fall by 5-7 percent annually.

The animal husbandry industry is striving for higher quality standards and increased domestic sales and exports to ASEAN, the Middle East, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

“Focusing on value chains is key to quick and sustainable growth of Vietnam’s animal husbandry,” Thanh said.

Cong called for more favourable policies that would promote advanced technologies and help farmers adhere to quality standards.

More trade promotion and networking events will also benefit farmers and increase sales, while improving public awareness to encourage consumption of produce with clear origin is also important, according to Cong.

During the conference, Meat & Livestock Australia signed a memorandum of understanding with the Animal Husbandry Association of Vietnam to develop the production and processing of chilled beef.

Dong Hiep Cooperative signed an MoU with pig farmers in Dong Nai, promising cooperation and purchasing.

Organised by Agritrade, Argotrade and Animal Husbandry Association of Vietnam, the conference was part of the 2018 Vietstock international exhibition, which is being held from Oct 17-19 to promote goods in animal husbandry, fishery, food processing and other industries.-VNS/VNA