Livestock farmers hit by losses, seek lifeline

By Thi Ha   March 29, 2023 | 07:40 pm PT
Livestock farmers hit by losses, seek lifeline
Nguyen Van Ngoc closes his 10-ha chicken farm in Vinh Cuu District, southern Dong Nai Province due to heavy losses. Photo by Linh Dan
With falling demand and rising feed prices pushing them into losses, small animal farms are asking the government for preferential bank loans and a rollover of debts.

Many households in southern Dong Nai Province have even stopped breeding altogether, as much as 50% of small breeders in some areas, because they have had to sell at below cost.

In a letter sent to Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Hong on the morning of March 28, the Dong Nai Animal Husbandry Association asked for emergency rescue policies for the livestock industry.

Accordingly, Nguyen Tri Cong, chairman of the association, said the cost of livestock has increased, but retail prices are still low, causing breeders of pigs, cows, and chickens to suffer heavy losses and eventually stop doing it.

He said that 10 years ago the whole country had 10 million livestock households, but by 2021 there were 4 million, and now there are less than 2 million.

The association asked local lenders to consider extending principal debt payments and reduce parts of the interest rate for livestock households.

The association also reported that it expects local banks to intensify disbursing a promised loan package that comes with 2% interest rate support from the State budget. The package was announced by the Government in May 2022. But according to surveys by the association, no businesses or farms have been granted such loans.

VnExpress found that many households with flock sizes of less than 20,000 chickens and herds of less than 200 pigs are giving up because livestock production is at a loss, and they have no capital to reinvest.

Nguyen Van Ngoc closed his 100,000-bird, 10-ha chicken farm in Tan An commune, Vinh Cuu district, Dong Nai, more than two months ago due to heavy losses.

"For the last batch of chickens I raised for less than two months, my farm lost VND4-5 billion," Ngoc said.

Lanh, the owner of a 200-pig operation in Dong Nai, said that he stopped breeding at the end of January.

"With 200 pigs, I lost VND200 million," he said.

Similarly, large-scale animal husbandry enterprises such as C.P., Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Vissan and Dabaco have all said that raising pigs is no longer profitable thanks to decreasing retail prices.

Speaking to VnExpress, Le Van Quyet – vice chairman of the Southeast Poultry Association – said the livestock industry is facing extremely difficult times. The number of households closing has increased to 50% of the total and this situation continues to escalate. It is forecasted that small-scale chicken farms are in danger of being wiped out.

The causes of this situation, according to Quyet, is the increase in the price of feed materials, the low selling price of pig, and the African swine fever that has exhausted production capacity for some farmers.

Cheap and mass imported chicken and pork make domestic products seem inferior considering high inflation, and the fact that people are tightening spending.

If there are no solutions soon, livestock production may be wiped out in many areas, said Cong from the Dong Nai Animal Husbandry Association.

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