Spotted deer farming lucrative in Gia Lai province

(VOVWORLD) - A model to breed deer for their antler velvet recently launched in Mang Yang district, Gia Lai province, is already having some success. It has helped local ethnic minority households improve their standard of living.

Spotted deer farming lucrative in Gia Lai province - ảnh 1Raising spotted deer in Yang Mang district, Gia Lai province, has proved  successful.

Vu Van Dan of Kon Dong town received support last June from Mang Yang district to raise two male and one female deer.

Drawing on technical assistance from agriculture experts and his own experience, Dan has gotten his deer to grow and produce velvet.

Dan said it takes him only 30 minutes each morning to care  for the deer, but “During the rainy season, when grass grows luxuriantly, I spend only 10 minutes cutting enough grass to feed the deer for a whole day. When the antler velvet grows, I supplement their diet with banana, corn, and noodles. I hope to expand the model to generate more income.”

Though the model is new here, participating households are already getting new fawns and harvesting antler velvet.

Nong Van Dao’s family in De Bo Tuk hamlet used to raise oxen, buffaloes, and goats, which often got diseases and whose price fluctuated.

Dao says raising spotted deer gives him greater profits and could provide local ethnic minority people a more stable income, adding, “My family has used the model for less than a year but has harvested velvet twice times and had another fawn. I want to expand the model to other local farmers.”

Raising spotted deer is relatively easy, according to local farmers. They just need clean food, clean drinking water, and a clean breeding space. The deer mostly eat grasses and leaves, like goats.

When the deer start to grow velvet, greater care is needed to ensure the quality of the velvet.

A mature deer can produce half a kilo of velvet twice a year. At the current price of 108 USD per 100 grams, a farmer can earn about 1,100 USD per year per animal. They can also profit from selling meat or breeding their deer.

Tran Nam Danh, head of the district’s Economics-Infrastructure Section, said the model has helped many poor households raise their living standard.

“Since we launched the project, we have worked with cooperatives to buy the velvet. The model has proved so effective that local farmers want the local administration to help expand it,” said Danh.

Switching crops and animals is one way to boost agricultural production in Gia Lai province. Raising spotted deer for velvet has proven to be one of the most profitable models.