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Farmers in Vietnam urged to shift from rice to corn

Staff Writer |
Economists and experts warn that Vietnam should restructure its farming industry, making it less rice-oriented and focusing more on producing breeding materials in order to reduce its over-dependence to imported animal feed.

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In an article published this week, the Vietnam Economics News quoted some industry insiders as saying that the shift from rice to corn might help ensure sustainable development of local animal feed production

The head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Plantation Department, Ma Quang Trung, said Vietnam recorded a rice surplus of approximately seven million tonnes each year, but needed to import a large quantity of corn for animal feed due to its failure to meet domestic demand.

Currently, the price of Vietnamese corn is higher than that of imported corn. Thus, the most important tasks involve effectively converting rice farming to corn while reducing the cost of corn, Trung said.

According to the latest ministry statistics, Vietnam imported roughly $2.1 billion worth of animal feed and raw materials, including corn and soybean, over the past eight months, down 6.2 percent from the same period a year ago.

Most of the animal feed and raw materials were imported from Argentina, the U.S. and China, according to the data.

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