Adoption of improved pig production practices under the Vietnamese good animal husbandry practices (VietGAHP) initiative could increase pig farmers’ income by 30-40%. This is in addition to farmers receiving other benefits such as reduced pig rearing times, improved environment, reduced disease risks, better production techniques, and financial and material support from World-Bank funded Livestock Competitiveness and Food Safety Project (LIFSAP).
VietGAHP is a set of guidelines for best practices in pig production that has been rolled out to selected provinces in Vietnam under LIFSAP.
The improved production practices recommended in VietGAHP are expected to reduce piglet mortality and improve overall farm productivity leading to increased supply of cheaper pork to consumers, while ensuring higher income to farmers from higher volume sold.
These are some of the key findings from a stakeholder meeting, held 9 December 2015, that brought together researchers from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA), as well as pig farmers, slaughterhouse operators and processors and managers, in Dien Chau District, Nghe An Province, in Vietnam.
ILRI’s Lucy Lapar, Thinh Nguyen and Fred Unger attended the meeting which reviewed the benefits and constraints in applying and scaling VietGAHP. Participants also discussed simulation results from the System Dynamics Model (SDM) of pig value chains in Vietnam. SDM is a tool for ex-ante assessment of impacts of an intervention, including the value chain actors who benefit or are disadvantaged by an intervention, and it helps in prioritizing best-bet interventions for scaling out.
To address challenges of differentiating VietGAHP and non-VietGAHP products in the market, the farmers’ group in the meeting proposed setting up cooperatives to promote VietGAHP products, awarding VietGAHP certificates, handing out leaflets to promote VietGAHP products, and establishing strong linkages between production and market to ensure food safety along the chain as potential solutions.
Slaughterhouse operators and processors recommended product quality checks by government in transport and slaughtering, improvement in veterinary services, and stricter implementation of VietGAHP by the government and penalty for noncompliance.
The review noted that successful adoption of VietGAHP requires 30% more financial investment from the participants than in non-VietGAHP production processes but its use can reduce pig mortality rates by approximately 90%. This information was then fed to SDM to run the experiment on VietGAHP adoption and find out the impacts on the pig value chain. From the discussions of the ex-ante assessment impact results, activities that will support the scaling out of VietGAHP and ensure that the gains from its continued application are sustained were identified as possible areas of future collaborative work.
See a related article on ILRI-VNUA research on pig production practices in Nghe An, Vietnam.