Farm types for beef production and their economic success in a mountainous province of northern Vietnam
The objective of this study was to compare the management and economic success of beef production by three types of farm in northwestern Vietnam. The potential of household farms to supply beef for the market and their competition with large farms were examined. The fieldwork was done in 2007 on 73 farms consisting of 58 small mixed farms (small farms), 10 medium mixed farms (medium farms) and 5 specialised large-scale beef farms (large farms) in Son La province. The three types of farm differed in ethnicity (Thai, H'mong, and Kinh), remoteness (lowland, highland), production objectives (subsistence, market output), degree of specialization (mixed farm, specialised beef farm) and integration of production (single farmers, cooperative). Data on biological productivity, inputs and outputs, and the social contribution of cattle production were collected by household and key person interviews, participatory rural appraisal tools and cattle body measurements. Economic values were derived by assessment of market or replacement costs. Quantitative data analysis was done with linear models (PROC GLM) in the SAS software (version 9.1). Lowland small farms had higher costs for cattle production than the highland farms (0.8Â Mill.Â VNDÂ head-1Â year-1 compared with 0.02Â Mill.Â VNDÂ head-1Â year-1, respectively). The large farms had high production costs, with an average of 2.5-3.6Â Mill.Â VNDÂ head-1Â year-1. Cattle brought high benefits of non-cash values to the household farms. The total revenue from cattle was in the range 4.5-11.5Â Mill.Â VNDÂ head-1Â year-1, which depended on the use of non-market functions of cattle on the household farm. The value of net benefit/kg live weight (LW) of lowland small farms with an average of 39,000Â VND/kg LW was significantly higher than that of the medium and small farms in the highlands (26,000Â VND/kg LW). However, the small farms kept fewer cattle than the medium farms (average of 2-4 cattle/farm compared with 9 cattle/farm, respectively) because of forage and labour shortages and have no option to further develop cattle production. Keeping larger numbers of cattle based on available natural pasture brought high benefit from stock value as farm liquidity to only the medium farms. This was the most promising type of farm for future development of beef production, given its actual success and the availability of underutilised resources. Large-scale farms suffered high economic losses of 0.3-1.4Â Mill.Â VNDÂ cattle-1Â year-1, due to the lack of professional management, high feed costs and low animal performance, and showed no potential for developing cattle production.
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- Rachmat, R. & Stur, W. W. & Blair, Graeme J., 1992. "Cattle feeding systems and limitations to feed supply in South Sulawesi, Indonesia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 409-419.
- Siegmund-Schultze, M. & Rischkowsky, B. & da Veiga, J.B. & King, J.M., 2007. "Cattle are cash generating assets for mixed smallholder farms in the Eastern Amazon," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 738-749, June.
- Delgado, Christopher L. & Narrod, Clare A. & Tiongco, Marites M. & Barros, Geraldo Sant'Ana de Camargo & Catelo, Maria Angeles & Costales, Achilles & Mehta, Rajesh & Naranong, Viroj & Poapongsakorn, N, 2008. "Determinants and implications of the growing scale of livestock farms in four fast-growing developing countries:," Research reports 157, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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