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Forum seeks to perk up dairy industry
29 | 10 | 2007
A new Viet Nam Dairy Forum will provide domestic and international companies, as well as consumers, the chance to assess the progress of the country’s milk industry.

The forum, initiated by the Viet Nam-Belgium Dairy Project, will be financed by the Belgium Embassy, Ha Noi, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

It is expected to provide information about Viet Nam’s dairy industry, from production to consumption.

The effort includes a website built with the help of the Information and Communication Ministry that is intended to increase the efficiency and profits of all stakeholders, including farmers.

Representatives of the agricultural ministry’s Livestock-breeding department, the HCM City’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, the Industry and Trade Ministry as well as milk processors, including Hanoimilk, Viet Nam Dairy and Vinamilk, exchanged information about the industry when the forum was launched last Wednesday.

"The forum is in the very early stages of dairy industry development," its provisional president, Nguyen Lam Quang, told the meeting.

HCM City Agriculture and Rural Development Department representative Pham Minh Tri said a committee of milk producers and processors would be established to develop long-term plans and strategies for the industry.

Expensive imports

Viet Nam’s dairy herd totalled 113,000 last year – a year-on-year increase of 25 per cent.

Milk production totalled 216,000 tonnes.

But the industry relies heavily on imported milk to meet demand.

Industry and Trade Ministry figures provided at the forum show that domestic producers meet only 22 per cent of demand and the cost of imported milk products was US$220 million in 2005.

Industry and Trade Ministry representative Trinh Quy Pho said better state management was needed if the industry was to increase production and rely less on imported milk.

Vinamilk representative Vuong Ngoc Long said domestic milk production was falling behind despite the Government’s incentive loans for would-be dairy farmers in 2000.

The initiative, administered the MARD via Government Decision 167, is intended to promote the breeding of dairy cows.

The goal is to have Viet Nam’s farmers meet 40 per cent of the demand for milk by 2015.

MARD forecasts milk consumption will grow to 1 million tonnes by 2010.

But the price of domestic milk is estimated at 17 per cent higher than the average global price.

Source: VNS
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