The Covid-19 pandemic has caused global trade bottlenecks and disruptions, but livestock exports are still growing strongly. With export turnover of $1.23 billion in 2020, livestock is the new export strength of Vietnam.
The latest report of the Department of Livestock Production (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) shows that in 2020, despite being affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, African swine fever and natural disasters, the livestock industry still maintained growth.
Specifically, meat production increased by 4.8%; fresh milk production 1.09 million tons, up 10.2%; and buffalo meat production 1.6%, compared to 2019.
The total poultry herd was about 510 million heads, while the poultry meat production was over 1.42 million tons, up about 9.2%; and eggs 14.5 billion, an increase of about 9.5% compared to 2019. The pig herd in 2020 also recovered, pushing live pork production to 3.46 million tons, up 3.9% compared to 2019.
The report also said that in 2020, livestock products not only met domestic consumption but also served export. The export value of livestock products reached about $1.23 billion, double that of 2015 (about $620 million). This was also the first year that the livestock industry achieved an export value of over $1 billion.
Vietnam's livestock exports grow strongly in 2020. (photo: BH)
According to the Department of Livestock Production, to develop sustainably in the coming time, it is necessary to encourage investment in livestock based on the value chain, with national identifiers and product traceability; build large-scale livestock complexes, and apply high technology with enterprises playing the center role in linking production and consumption.
Enterprises that are considered as the core in value chains need to innovate the form of production and business organization, clearly identify the needs of the market, promote linkages with farmers, apply scientific advances and technology in production, using technology in traceability, standards like VietGap, GlobalGap, and ASEAN GAHP to provide high quality products that meet requirements of markets, and create pork, meat and poultry eggs as national products and a trading floor for agricultural products.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien earlier asked the Department of Livestock Production to adjust the scale of the poultry flocks to be suitable for domestic and export demand, avoiding an imbalance of supply and demand.
Mr. Tien also proposed the establishment of a Steering Committee on digital transformation in the agricultural sector, a national database on livestock production, and IT solutions to ensure updating, management and exploitation of livestock data nationwide.
On the basis of aggregated data, it is possible to make realistic assessments and forecast production capacity and supply and demand of the livestock market to help regulate the production of businesses and breeders, Deputy Minister Tien said.
Husbandry companies are being squeezed on two fronts, with prices for poultry and cattle stagnating and falling in some cases while animal feed material prices have been surging, pushing many to halt production or even declare bankruptcy.
While India and Thailand are facing difficulties, Vietnamese seafood has an opportunity to occupy major markets such as Russia and the US.