Viet Nam
IFC provides technical supports on control and prevent African Swine Fever in Vietnam
On December 9, Deputy Minister of MARD Phung Duc Tien hosted a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding on technical assistance to manage and prevent African Swine Fever in Vietnam's pig farming.

The MOU is part of an International Finance Corporation-led technical assistance program aimed at enhancing agricultural competitive capacity.

Ms. Rana Karashesh, Regional Industry Director Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services Asia Pacific, IFC, said from the Singaporean bridgepoint that the animal husbandry industry has great potential but faces several challenges related to animal health, particularly African Swine Fever (AFS). Globally, the illness has devastated pig herds and the meat sector. In only one year from 2019, the disease epidemic in Vietnam led to the culling and death of more than 30% of pigs across provinces. Farmers' livelihoods and pork prices were greatly impacted by the crisis.

The MoU is a crucial step forward in assisting the area in developing a recovery framework from ASF. IFC will help the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in strengthening Vietnam's legal framework and institutional capacity for biosecurity measures and disease monitoring and prevention, particularly ASF in pig farming.

"A critical component of the cooperation is the requirement to establish, operate, and test pilot areas for ASF immunity, as well as the participation of the public and private sectors following the SPS agreement, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), among others. The critical element in preventing the illness is to contribute to the maintenance of pig supplies for the local market, to the establishment of disease-free breeding grounds, and the preparation of Vietnamese pork for export. Vietnam is the region's first nation to use this concept. MARD is critical in coordinating efforts with stakeholders to ensure that the strategic initiatives are implemented coherently," Ms. Rana said.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien (left) and Mr. Darryl Dong - Principal Financial Specialist of IFC Vietnam. Photo: Bao Thang.

According to Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien, animal husbandry is an important economic sector that contributes significantly to agricultural output in terms of economic development, food safety, employment, and livelihoods for millions of people.

Certain Vietnamese animal goods, such as poultry meat, salted eggs, and honey, among others have been exported more than USD 1 billion, gradually establishing the brand value of Vietnam's livestock products. Currently, the livestock industry provides more than 25% of the agricultural sector's overall production value, and the industry's expansion potential is believed to be extremely substantial.

However, Vietnam's livestock industry continues to face several shortcomings, including insufficient management of harmful infectious diseases, food safety and environmental concerns, poor animal productivity, inadequate processing, and high product prices. ASF is a hemorrhagic disease that is very fatal insensitive swine species, such as domestic pigs and wild boar. There is currently no effective vaccination available to protect pigs against this illness, and severe disease may kill 100% of sick pigs.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien (left) and Mr. Darryl Dong - Principal Financial Specialist of IFC Vietnam. Photo: Bao Thang.

Delegates took pictures at the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony. Photo: Bao Thang.

To address inadequacies and capitalize on the potential for sustainable livestock growth, the Deputy Minister of MARD urged the livestock sector to apply synchronous solutions immediately to reorganize the business more suitably.

MARD is extremely appreciative of international partners, particularly OIE, JICA, and IFC, which is a member of the World Bank group, for their series of cooperation and support activities for Vietnam's livestock industry, including financial support, expert training, scientific research collaboration, investment and technical exchange, breeding stock...

The MoU intends to establish a framework for collaboration, clearly identify objectives, contribute to the strengthening of the legislative framework, and strengthen the ability to execute biosecurity measures to prevent ASF and other common illnesses. in pig production, contributing to the local market's pork supply, and striving to establish biosafe breeding sites for export.

"I believe that with the support of IFC and development partners such as OIE, JICA, and relevant government agencies, and the determination of MARD, cooperation activities within the framework of the MoU will successfully support Vietnam's livestock competitiveness in the global market, while also opening up numerous other potential market access opportunities for Vietnam," said Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien.

According to the OIE representative, the agency works in collaboration with the FAO and ASEAN to build a regional plan for ASF control in Southeast Asia.

"Effective coordination is critical not just for transboundary swine fever management, but also at the national level, where Vietnam's involvement, particularly the MARD, is pivotal." According to an OIE spokesperson.

By Thuy Linh