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Lacking capital, farmers become hired workers for foreigners

The capital depletion plus the dramatic meat price decrease both have knocked down livestock farms. Breeding animals for foreign invested enterprises proves to be the only choice for Vietnamese farmers now.

VietNamNet Bridge – The capital depletion plus the dramatic meat price decrease both have knocked down livestock farms. Breeding animals for foreign invested enterprises proves to be the only choice for Vietnamese farmers now.


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Nguyen Thi Tai in Dong Nai province has signed a contract with a foreign invested enterprise, under which Tai would breed pigs for the enterprise under its supervision and with the material facilities provided by it.

Tai said that she has no other choice for now than becoming the hired worker for foreigners. The animal feed price has been fluctuating so heavily, which makes Tai fear for incurring loss. Meanwhile, if Tai breeds pigs for the foreign enterprise, she would not have to worry about the consumption.

However, Tai said, doing the outsourcing for foreign enterprise is just a temporary solution, because the contract would last five years only.

There are about 20 big scale (20,000 pigs for each) pig farms in Thong Nhat district in Dong Nai province. Thirteen households are breeding pigs for foreign enterprises, mostly the big guys such as CP, Emivest, Japfa.

There is a growing tendency among Vietnamese farmers of doing the outsourcing for foreigners, which allows the farmers to minimize risks and ease the pressure on the capital arrangement.

Since farmers have shifted to work for foreign enterprises, breeder production farms have suffered because their breeders have been left unsold.

The breeder price has dropped dramatically to VND3,000 per fowl, but the products remain unsalable. A farmer said that even if he can get the breeders for free, he would still incur heavy loss if he continues farming for himself, because the chicken price has dropped dramatically.

Having no capital, unable to find buyers, Vietnamese farmers have to become the hired workers for foreigners. This gives the foreign invested enterprises the golden opportunity to exploit the Vietnamese farmers’ infrastructure and material facilties, while they can control the meat prices in the market.

Pham Duc Binh, Deputy Chair of the Southeast Livestock Association, said farmers now need the urgent support from the government. If the situation cannot be improved, both domestic animal feed and farmers would die, while the foreign livestock companies would dominate the market.

Vietnam now has 233 livestock feed factories, of which 58 factories, belong to foreign invested enterprises. Despite the modest number of factories, foreigners make up 50 percent of the market share.

Regarding the veterinary medicine, foreigners hold 80 percent of the domestic market.

As for the meat market, CP alone provides 30 percent of poultry eggs, 30 percent of chicken and 7 percent of pork. The company only provides 5 percent of pig breeders, but provides 8 percent of products made of pork.

Le Quang Thanh, General Director of the Thai Duong Animal Feed Company, said the vaccine price sometimes soared from VND7,000 per dose to VND20,000 when epidemics occurred.

A farmer in Dong Nai province said the selling prices are being controlled by some big guys in the field. “The big companies have pushed farmers into the price spirals they create. We now have to struggle hard to survive the difficulties,” he said.

According to the Binh Phuoc provincial Livestock Association, a lot of farmers have denounced CP of breaking the commitments. CP sells the equipments for farm installation at the prices which are 20-30 percent higher than the market prices.

 The company promises to get fowls after 42-45 days of breeding, but in fact, farmers can only deliver fowls after 50 days, while they have to pay for additional feed and medicine.

Nam Phong

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