Demand for pork is increasing rapidly in Vietnam alongside demand for higher quality products, due, largely, to income growth and the swelling of urban populations. A dual market structure is emerging, comprising a few large-scale farms using higher yielding technology packages, and a large number of smallholders using less sophisticated systems. Recent research in south west China, the Philippines and northern Vietnam has shown that smallholders using improved technology to produce higher quality products can successfully compete with larger farms in higher priced markets. Given widespread rural poverty in Vietnam, successful commercial smallholder pig farming alongside the large-scale pig industry may serve as a vehicle for poverty alleviation. Identification of beneficial technologies, institutional arrangements and policies, and carefully targeting improved access to quality inputs and services for poorer producers have the potential to cause a breakthrough in sustainable poverty alleviation. Various formal and informal institutional structures within the pig sector involving input suppliers, pig raisers, and marketing and processing firms are evolving in Vietnam. However, it is still unclear which institutional forms are best adapted to increasing smallholder access to higher value market chains. This project intends to elucidate these issues.
The project is led and implemented by ILRI’s Livestock Market Opportunities Theme. The Theme addresses the growing and changing domestic and international demand for livestock products. The theme concentrates particularly on improving the quality and safety of products themselves and the market chains along which livestock products flow. Further, the theme, and this project in particular, focus on how to better equip smallholder livestock producers with the means to participate competitively in higher value markets so that they may improve their livelihood generating capacity. Currently ILRI are implementing a number of projects in South East Asia and around the globe under this theme, this project will benefit from the methodological and implementing experiences of these projects.
The project research is currently being conducted in eight provinces: five rural, Phu Tho, Nghe An, Dak Lak, Dong Nai, Tien Giang; one peri-urban, Ha Tay and two urban, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The project research sites have been selected to represent as broad a spectrum of Vietnam as possible. The selected provinces constitute areas in the north, central and southern regions, mountainous, semi-mountainous, coastal and delta areas, urban, peri-urban and rural. The data represents a broad array of districts, communes and villages within each province selected based on a number of criteria such as the distance to the district capital. Data has been collected on producers, consumers and other market actors. The selection of research locations and participants was based, largely, on the results of the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) that was conducted prior to the market actor data collection in July/August of 2006.
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