Project Synopsis: Improving the competitiveness of pig producers in an adjusting Vietnam market

Project Methodology

The project design followed the following five components:

Component 1: Consumer demand analysis

Assessing demand for different attributes of pork as a driver for pig production, market potential and implications for smallholders’ involvement and competitiveness.

Component 2: Producer analysis

Examining current smallholder practices and performance to identify areas where smallholders can compete, what should change, and the policy, technology and institutional support required for these changes to take place.

Component 3: Market actor analysis

Investigating market actors and linkages between supply and demand.

Component 4: Pig sector modelling

Modelling the linkages and dynamics in the pic sector and project pig sector development under policy scenarios.

Component 5: Policy advocacy and communication

Facilitating dialogue among stakeholders about key messages from research findings to ultimately influence local and national livestock policies

The project used the following research tools predominantly:

  • Consumer Survey: urban households in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and rural households in six provinces representing six agro-ecological zones in Vietnam were included
  • Producer Survey: household producers and non-producers of pigs in 6 provinces were included
  • Market actor survey: market intermediaries in the representative provinces in north, central and south Vietnam were included
  • Pig sector partial equilibrium modelling

Main Findings

Demand for Pork

  • Pork is the dominant type of meat in the Vietnamese diet and will probably remain so in the future, accounting for 30-40% of total meat expenditures of households surveyed.
  • Demand for pork and other meat will increase considerably with growing consumer affluence. Consumers, however, tend to diversify towards other meat products such as poultry, beef and seafood as income rises.
  • There is a strong preference for fresh pork, which constitutes a natural market protection from imported pork in chilled frozen or processed forms.
  • Traditional open markets are still the main outlets for daily pork shopping.
  • Pig disease and chemical residures are the main concerns of meat consumers with respect to food safety. During outbreaks of diseases, consumers tend to reduce meat consumption and/or shift to modern outlets for meat purchases which are considered safer.
  • Risk assessment of pork supply chains in Hanoi, and peri-urban areas showed that pork sold in traditional markets are no less safer than that sold in supermarkets.

Supply of pig: Smallholder perspective

  • Household pig producers play an important role in supplying market demand, a situation that will likely continue in the next few decades. Currently household pig production accounts for at least 70% of total pork supply in Vietnam.
  • Pig rearing provides an important source of income and household employment in the absence of alternative livelihood options. Women make significant contributions to pig husbandry.
  • Access to improved breeds is associated with scale. Improving breed quality that fits smallholder conditions is critical in improving pig quality and productivity.
  • High and rising feed costs is a critical constraint to pig producers, with purchased feed as a proportion of total feed cost rising with scale. Expanding options for own produced feeds, in terms of choices and quality can potentially enhance smallholder competitiveness.
  • Under current conditions, small household pig producers are still able to generate incomes from pig rearing by exploiting areas where they can have cost advantages, given low labour opportunity cost, and lower cost of own produced feed and crop by-products.

View the project poster prepared for the ILRI Annual Program Meeting, 2010


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