Breeders Encumbered by Epidemics and Disasters01 September 2008
VIET NAM - Epidemics, natural disasters and increasing prices of feed have hindered the animal breeding sector’s growth rate this year, which failed to reach the target of 8-10 per cent set by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The sector is expected to earn nearly VND38.4 trillion (US$2.3 billion) this year, an increase of 7 per cent compared with the same period last year, according to the deputy director of the ministry’s Animal Breeding Department Nguyen Thanh Son. The sector has reset the year’s growth rate target to 6-7 per cent.
At present, the sector has reached about 70 per cent of the new year-end target.
"To get back on track, we need to find effective measures to tackle disease epidemics," said Son.
Speaking at a conference held this week on preventing epidemics in livestock, poultry and fisheries, the director of the Livestock Breeding Department, Hoang Kim Giao said the breeding sector needed more efficient co-ordination from relevant sectors to boost development.
"To get back on track, we need to find effective measures to tackle disease epidemics."
Deputy Director of the ministry’s Animal Breeding Department Nguyen Thanh Son
Using the animal health sector as an example, Giao said there was a pressing need to effectively control epidemic to aid sustainable development of breeding.
"It’s necessary to make clear what responsibilities each sector and level or sector has. Strict punishment is needed to effectively prevent more outbreaks," said Director of Lam Dong Agriculture and Rural Development Department Pham Van An.
A representative from Tien Giang Agriculture and Rural Development said the country had law but it was not strictly followed. Local relevant sectors had discovered illegal transportation of animals and poultry infected with diseases, and uncovered many households which failed to vaccinate their poultry. Unfortunately, they had no way to punish violators.
According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat, there were 23,000 animal health workers at commune level nationwide, about 4,000 people of which were proven to be untrained. The true numbers remain unclear however.
An said the animal health sector was so ineffective that many local workers could not distinguish between different diseases. They simply incinerated any animal with a fever without first administering tests.
He said small-scale breeding was still popular and concentrating on poor people. Every changes would directly affected their life.
Minister Phat admitted that the outbreak of diseases had hit localities like a storm but prevention work was still laughable. In the near future, clear responsibility would be given at commune levels.
"If not, measures will simply exist on paper," he added.
Another move by the animal breeding sector to overcome these difficulties is boosting the production of four products of high value: pork, eggs, cattle feed and beef.
According to Son, policies on the importation of breeders and the popularisation of breeders with high productivity will have to be implemented. The private sector is encouraged to participate; farmers should take advantage of their land to grow crops which can serve as animal feed.
"The Government will also create favourite conditions for farmers to borrow from banks with preferential interest rates to encourage them to expand their farming," said Son.
In addition, the breeding sector will also carry out necessary solutions to stabilise the prices of animal food. It has suggested that the Government ought to include animal feed into the list of product prices that require stabilisation.
Most importantly, the sector has asked commercial banks and credit funds to create favourable conditions for enterprises to borrow for the importation of materials for animal feed.
"Enterprises in the country will most likely need about $1.58 billion to import materials for animal feed for the rest of the year," concluded Son.
TheFishSite News Desk