With pork prices skyrocketing, housewives are being encouraged to replace the meat with chicken to economise. The Animal Husbandry Department says prices of pork on the hoof have risen by 70-100 per cent within a year...
With pork prices skyrocketing, housewives are being encouraged to replace the meat with chicken to economise.
The Animal Husbandry Department says prices of pork on the hoof have risen by 70-100 per cent within a year, and pigs currently cost VND64,000 per kilogramme in the South and VND65,000 to VND70,000 in the North.
Nguyen Xuan Duong, deputy head of the department, says these are equal to prices in China and higher than in Thailand.
The price hike has not only hit people's pockets and affected the quality of meals of millions of families, but also forced the consumer price index up in Ha Noi and HCM City.
The department blames high general inflation, animal diseases, and Chinese purchases of large quantities of pork as the main causes of the rising pork prices.
Pork supply rose by 6.7 per cent in the first six months of 2011, compared with last year.
But analysts dismiss these explanations as being "unpersuasive" since the department does not have accurate figures about how many pigs are being bred nationwide and where.
Pork prices may drop if supply goes up or demand falls. But it takes at least three and a half months to turn a 20kg piglet into a 100kg porker.
Therefore, to force down pork prices in the coming months, it is much easier to persuade pork consumers to turn to other meats, newswire VnExpress points out.
According to the Viet Nam Animal Feed Manufacturers' Association, pork accounts for 70 per cent, chicken for 20 per cent, and other types of meat for 10 per cent of the total meat consumed by Vietnamese, compared with 40-45 per cent, 30-35 per cent, and 20-30 per cent in developed countries.
White (poultry) meat contains much more protein, lipid and vitamins than red meat like beef as well as pork.
Therefore, turning to chicken will help lower pork prices while also improving people's health.
In the past month, while pork prices have shot up, chicken prices dropped from VND41,000 to VND27,000 per kilogramme.
The change in meat-consumption pattern will offer an opportunity for restructuring the country's animal husbandry industry towards sustainable development, Pham Duc Binh, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Animal Feed Manufacturers Association, says.
Three days after a meeting of the Viet Nam Young Business Association, more than 300 entrepreneurs in HCM City met authorities last Tuesday to protest against the high bank lending rates and called for Government support.
Addressing the meeting, the chairman of the HCM City Business Association, Huynh Van Minh, said businesses could either not obtain bank loans or have to pay excessive interest rates.
This caused a surge in costs and eroded their competitiveness, association members said.
Huynh Van Hanh, deputy chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Association of HCM City, said member enterprises were losing their competitiveness since prices of all inputs had increased by more than 15 per cent since late last year while their importers in the US, Japan and Europe were only accepting 5 to 7 per cent price increases.
Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the HCM City Real Estate Association, said many members of his association could face bankruptcy since the property market had been frozen for a long time due to the tightening of credit to the property sector.
Chau said the Government should review policies later this year to save enterprises, especially those in the property, building materials and other labour-intensive sectors.
"œIt is necessary to cut lending rates to 12 per cent and help prestigious property firms and those developing low-cost housing projects to obtain bank loans," he said.
Phan Dinh Tue, deputy chairman of the HCM City-based Nghe Tinh Business Association, said if local firms suffered due to the current policies, supply of goods could dwindle and prices could rise as a consequence.
Tue called for deferring VAT (value added tax) collection so that businesses could have enough working capital.
Minh of the HCM City Business Association said the city should promote the role of the SME credit guarantee fund, scaling it up or easing conditions to make life easier for businesses.
The establishment of the new public-private partnership (PPP) investment model by Viet Nam will help bring in more Japanese FDI, Norio Hattori, a former Japanese ambassador to Viet Nam, has said.
"The disbursement of official development assistance loans has been choked [in Viet Nam] due to various reasons," Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted him as saying.
"So the new PPP investment model will enable Viet Nam to execute ODA projects."
At the VN-Japan Business Forum held by Mainichi newspaper in Tokyo last Friday, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong focused on the attractions of the PPP investment model and hoped Japanese investment would make up 30 per cent of such investment in Viet Nam.
Since the Government can only hold a 30 per cent stake in PPP projects, foreign private firms can invest in Viet Nam which requires US$20-25 billion a year.
Katsuhiko Murayama, head of the Japanese Ministry of Commerce and Industry's Financial Cooperation Department, said Japanese companies increased their investment in Viet Nam, especially small- and medium-sized ones.
"For SMEs currently facing difficulties in Japan and seeking to invest abroad, Viet Nam is one of their top priorities," Tuoi Tre quoted him as saying.
He noted that the PPP model had drawn great interest among Japanese firms.
Dang Xuan Quang, deputy head of the Foreign Investment Department, said 24 PPP projects worth $20 billion are being piloted in Viet Nam.
They included expressways, airports and power plants.
Hattori was optimistic about the success of the PPP model in Viet Nam, saying it had been successful in China, Thailand and the Philippines. — VNS