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HPAI Control Measures
and Household Incomes
in Vietnam
The Hen Which Lays the Golden Eggs - or Why Backyard Poultry Are
So Popular

In the Mekong region of Southeast Asia poverty is largely a rural phenomenon. Vietnam was selected as the focus country in the region because it is the country with both the highest rural poverty incidence (45%) and the largest number of rural people living in poverty (28.8 million); it in transition from a socialist command economy to a market-led economy; and it boasts a wealth of data on the distribution of household incomes, the structure of poverty, and the role of livestock in household livelihoods; valuable information for the Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative (PPLPI) to build on for the development of tools for sector and impact analyses of pro-poor policy and institutional change.

A large proportion of rural households keep livestock, with an estimated 70% owning chickens, mostly for home consumption, and nearly 60% owning pigs, mostly for market sale. Pig raising is the dominant activity in the livestock sub-sector by far, accounting for around 72% of total domestic meat output, while poultry meat comes second with 18%. The pig sector is therefore undoubtedly of major importance for rural livelihoods and poverty alleviation both at household and community levels. The current official policy in the pig sector, however, largely neglects smallholder pig producers and directs public investment towards promotion of large-scale pig farming for foreign markets by developing production zones for export of high-quality pigs.

Focusing policy, strategy, and public investments on the expansion of smallholder pig production by improving the provision of support services and production inputs, and by developing more efficient domestic markets for pigs and pig meat, is likely to have a much broader based impact on the livelihood of rural households than the current policy of export promotion. Therefore, building on alliances with research institutions, government agencies, private sector, NGOs, and civil society organizations, the PPLPI has initiated a process of policy reform aiming at fostering smallholder pig production for the growing domestic market.





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