Smallholder competitiveness: Insights from pig production systems in Vietnam.

Type Conference Paper - International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) Triennial Conference, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil 18-24 August, 2012.
Title Smallholder competitiveness: Insights from pig production systems in Vietnam.
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
We examine smallholder competitiveness in pig production using data from a survey of 1,051
households across six provinces representing six agro-ecological zones and two urban centers in
Vietnam. Results from various analyses employing descriptive statistical analysis, econometric
modelling, and partial equilibrium modelling of the pig sector in Vietnam support the hypothesis
that smallholder, household pig production are competitive and will remain significant suppliers of
the fresh pork market. This competitiveness is underpinned by the strong demand for fresh,
unchilled pork, thereby ensuring sustained opportunities for smallholders to supply this demand
while also providing natural protection from imported chilled or frozen pork. Long-term prospects
for smallholder contribution to total pork supply are good. Even in the worst case scenario of
stagnant technological advances in the traditional, smallholder sector, they are projected to remain
dominant players in the pork market. Currently, the modern, large scale pig sector is small at 5% of
total market share; this is projected to expand to 12% in the next 10 years. The empirical evidence
also suggests that overall efficiency gains to the pig sector are not likely to be generated from
increasing herd sizes due to the observed lack of economies of scale in household pig production. In
the current situation, ways should be explored to reduce the cost of production. Attention should
be given, for example, to increasing the supply and reducing the cost of domestically produced feeds
for pigs and utilizing available supplies more efficiently. Technological improvement in feeds and in
pig production thus plays an important role in the development of the sector. Policies that will
enhance productivity across all producer types will be preferable, rather than a targeted policy
directive focusing on developing large, industrial farms. Limitations in land and household labor
may also limit potential for expanding scale, thereby further supporting the case for sustaining
smallholder competitiveness.

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