Dairy cow farming proves beneficial in Soc Trang province

(VOVWORLD) - Raising dairy cows has long been the economic mainstay of many families in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, particularly among the Khmer ethnic minority. Dairy cow farming is a major reason more Soc Trang people chose to stay in their rural areas instead of migrating to the urban areas.
Dairy cow farming proves beneficial in Soc Trang province - ảnh 1Raising dairy cows has improved the standard of living of many households in Soc Trang province. (Photo: VOV)

Son Hang of Tra Bet hamlet in My Xuyen district began raising dairy cows in 2009. Six year later he participated in a dairy farming development project which provided farming techniques, seeds, grass, corn seedlings, and capital to build breeding facilities.

With that support Son Hang’s farm grew and today has 18 cows, 6 of which are producing 100 kilos of milk a day.

After deducting production costs, Son Hang earns more than 260 USD a week. This is now his family’s main source of revenue.

“In the future, if I can get more capital, I’ll expand the model. If I choose good cow breeds, build a well-ventilated barn, obtain enough nutritious forage, and apply good disease prevention measures, my cows will produce milk that can meet the standards set by Vinamilk, Vietnam's largest dairy company,” Hang said.

Thach Minh Duong of Tam Loc hamlet told VOV that since 2012, when he began to raise 2 dairy cows, his family’s standard of living has improved.

Duong now has 10 cows, giving him a better income than when he only grew rice and other crops.

He recalled, “Participating in the dairy farming project has improved my household economy. Raising dairy cows is more profitable. If things continue this way, I’ll increase the size of the herd.”

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the model was initiated in 2013 based on a smaller-scale dairy cow farming model of the Evergrowth Agri Cooperative. It has contributed to restructuring local agriculture toward higher added value and sustainable development.

Tang Thanh Chi, Deputy Head of My Xuyen’s Agriculture and Rural Development Section, said that the district has provided 160 dairy cows to 91 households, loaned 12 other households enough money to buy 24 cows, and provided local farmers vocational training in cow husbandry techniques.

“The district’s current milk output is between 4 and 4.3 tons a day, half of which is bought by Vinamilk. The Evergrowth Cooperative purchases an additional 1.7 to 1.8 tons. With an average price of 56 cents a kilo, farmers can earn a profit of 22 cents per kilo of milk. The dairy cow farming model has resulted in greater profitability, more jobs, and higher incomes for local people,” Chi said.

Dairy cow farming proves beneficial in Soc Trang province - ảnh 2Dairy cows keep farmers in Soc Trang working at home rather than moving to the city. (Photo: VOV)

Soc Trang has zoned 1,000 hectares as pasture land to ensure enough forage for the cows. The model has generated 5,000 jobs in Khmer-inhabited rural areas, reducing poverty and increasing the value of local agricultural production.

Vuong Quoc Nam, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, underscored the need to “create policies to better regulate various groups of beneficiaries and production scales. Policy beneficiaries should be poor, near-poor, or disadvantaged households and ethnic people, but they should still be encouraged to get involved in the model.”

Soc Trang’s agricultural sector is improving its breeding stock and replicating advanced breeding models to ensure biosecurity.

It is also improving insemination techniques and forage quality, mechanizing animal husbandry, and helping farmers obtain capital to expand their farm production.