Milk cow farmers moan because they earn no profit with unchanged price

For years, prices of fresh dairy products have kept unchanged while animal feeds and other things gone up resulting in difficulties that farmers in Ho Chi Minh City have to encounter.

Workers are packing Cu Chi milk ( Photo: SGGP)

Workers are packing Cu Chi milk ( Photo: SGGP)

Subsequently, farmers have not increased their cow herd for fearing loss.
As per a report of People's Committee in Cu Chi outlying district, in June, some 4,699 farms of milk cow with 66,422 oxen.
Of which, the number of cows is 29,421; of which 20,484 each produce 16.5 kilogram of milk a day. Therefore , the district yields total 338 tons of milk daily.
According to the survey of People's Committee on milk prices, farmers earn VND14,000 a kilogram if milk meet all criteria but the milk is sold at VND7,000 if somatic cell fails to meet and company will stop buying the milk of that farm in two weeks.
Worse, company will terminate the contract with that farm if it continues failing the criteria.
In reality, average milk price is at VND12,000 because milk doesn't meet criteria; just a few farmers make VND14,000 ( $0.6) a kilogram.
Present price of milk is same last year while animal feed and other cost have leaped, forcing farmers not to raise more. Many of them raise beef cow or stop feeding.
Farmer Le Van Khanh Nho in Tan Thanh Dong commune said a year ago, his family fed 70 dairy cows but now 40. He added that the herd of cow might decrease because he will raise beef cow instead.
Farmers take care of their herd of dairy cow carefully from feeds, farm hygiene to milking to meet somatic cell count.
Moreover, farmers have to buy drug ay price of VND3.5 million ($151)  for 20 containers each weighing 400gram. Hence, they have no profit ay price of VND12,000.
A cooperative in Tan Thong Hoi in Cu Chi district said it has supplied fresh milk to companies with 25 tons daily. It will support its farm members by providing feeds, veterinary service at loeer price than in market.
Averagely, the cooperative buys milk at VND11,500 a kilogram. It will buy 30 tons of milk a day in 2018.
Cooperative manager said to make sure the stable market for fresh milk so as to ensure farmers' income, it has built a prpcessing factory with the aim of providing more milk in market.
The factory can make 30 tons of milk a day but it is operated at 2 tons a day because of small market.
Sometimes, it has no choice but throw milk away or condense it for making confectionary later.
Cooperative director Nguyen Minh Khanh, said Cu Chi milk products of the cooperative will be displayed in state-run Saigon Trading Group (Satra). The cooperative is working with Co.opmart to give the products into the supermarket chains and schools.
However, its competition in market is weak compared to same kinds.
Additionally, though it has enjoyed preferential interest rate for the loan of VND25 billion, it has little money on advertising.  It expects the municipal People's Committee to help advertising the brand name in the local market.
Deputy chairman of the city Farmer Association Tran Truong Son said only farmers who invest in high technology can make profits.
Currently dairy companies started to adopt high technology in raising cow; thus, they just buy high quality milk of some outside farms.
Because Tan Thong Hoi Cooperative is on the way to find market, consumers are not familiar with the brand name while HCMC has just had polịto support companies at exhibition fairs, but no advertising campaign for agro-products. Once, the city builds up the Cu Chi brand name, it will help stabilize local farmers' income.
To improve dairy cow in sustainable orientation, the city encourage agricultural expansion center hs organized a conference for implementation of project to improve milk cow herd' quality in Cu Chi district with the participation of more than 120 farmer in communes Tan Thong Hoi, Tan Phu, Tan Phu Trung, Tan An Hoi, Phuoc Thanh, Phuoc Hiep, Tan Thanh Tay, Trung An
This year, the center plans to spend VND5.3 billion to allocate machines as a support to farmers.

By staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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