Ninh Thuan raises baa for sheep farming hinh anh 1Breeding sheep in Ninh Thuan province’s Bac Ai district. (Photo: VNA)

Ninh Thuan (VNS/VNA)
-  The south – central province of Ninh Thuan has raised sheep breeding to an industrial scale using advanced techniques to improve productivity and value.

The country’s largest sheep producing province has nearly 117,000 head of sheep, mostly in the districts of Bac Ai, Ninh Hai, Thuan Nam, and Thuan Bac, which normally have prolonged hot weather during the dry season, making sheep the ideal livestock for breeding, according to local farmers.

Ninh Thuan, which has the lowest rainfall in the country, has a dry season running from March to September.

Thai Van Sang, who has bred sheep in Bac Ai’s Phuoc Trung commune for more than 10 years, said the weather in his commune is especially severe and depletes natural food and water for livestock.

To secure food for his sheep and based on instructions by local agricultural officials, in 2018 Sang turned his 3,000ha field into a grass meadow.

He has also installed an efficient irrigation system to save water.

He also uses bran and other agricultural by-products to feed his 180 sheep.

His ewes reproduce twice a year, delivering one to two lambs each time, and a lamb could reach a weight of 20 – 30kg in six to eight months and could be sold, he said.

“My family earns 120 million VND (5,200 USD) a year.”

Sheep is one of the province’s 12 specifically identified products besides grape, jujube, asparagus, goat, Ca Na fish sauce, and My Nghiep brocade.

Its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has speeded up efforts to train sheep farmers in breeding techniques and zone pastures.

It has created favourable conditions for companies and co-operatives to link up to develop value chains for sheep breeding.

Truong Khac Tri, head of the Animal Health and Animal Husbandry Sub-department, said to improve livestock farming efficiency, in 2021 – 30 the province plans to restructure animal husbandry to develop large concentrated breeding farms with grass fields.

It would prioritise advanced breeding techniques to improve the quality of sheep, goats and cows and productivity, he said.

It would produce more hybrid sheep to improve the quality of its herds and offer policy support to encourage companies and co-operatives that breed and sell sheep and process its meat.

It will step up inspection of disease prevention and control efforts and trade promotion.

High price

The prices of sheep have increased greatly this year, offering farmers high incomes, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Traders now buy sheep on the hoof at 130,000 – 140,000 VND (5.6 – 6 USD) a kilogramme, up 10,000 – 20,000 VND since the beginning of the year.

Prices are expected to keep increasing because of high demand in the domestic market, according to traders.

This year the province has good weather and rains, and so there is abundant food for its sheep.

Its sheep meat products have been issued geographical indication certification by the National Office of Intellectual Property./.