Minister Le Minh Hoan: ‘The supply and demand for pork has not been correctly forecast’

The agricultural sector has not correctly forecasted the market, has not been able to regulate the supply and demand of pork, and needs to be corrected, according to Minister Le Minh Hoan.

Regarding the story of excess domestic pig supply, the price has decreased slightly but the market price of meat is still high, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan shared with the press on the sidelines of the National Assembly session. , October 24.

Why have farmers sold live pigs at very low prices in recent years, but the price of finished products to consumers is very high, Mr. Minister?

– Inaccurate information can affect farmers’ emotions and create price effects. For example, the backlog of 8 million pigs in the barn made farmers worried, leading to a quick sale, sell-off, and sale at all costs. At the same time many sellers, the market is broken due to Covid-19, restaurants, tourist areas are not open… Prices are decided solely based on supply and demand, now adding an emotional factor will leading to a chain effect that causes the price of live pigs to go down.

Meanwhile, the supermarket system has orders placed 5-7 months in advance. They say when the buying price is high, the supermarket still has to sell the old price. Farmers also told me that at the same time selling about 40 animals, traders buy them, bring them to the slaughterhouse and still raise them for another 5 to 15 days to gradually sell according to market demand. That is, traders have to bear more food for pigs, money for storage, storage…so the cost goes up.

It is a supply chain and we have to get used to the supply – demand of the market, there will be ups and downs, it is impossible to be in absolute balance, especially in a local time.

– Statistics of 8 million pigs backlog are incorrect, so what is the current status of pig backlog?

– We are doing statistics again, because so far the statistics are too simple. A few million pigs in the barn is very large, but it is necessary to classify because pigs are released in batches, batches, not all at once. Therefore, if you give the information that “there are millions of pigs in the barn”, farmers will be shocked, see too much, so they have to sell at any price, causing panic in the market.

The agricultural sector must be re-analyzed from time to time and specifically reviewed. Of course, this is also difficult because our country’s livestock production is too small and difficult to count. Therefore, I had an idea that the agricultural sector must be registered so that the state could have data, but when it was released, people said that the Minister wanted to control people and increase troublesome procedures.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan. Photo: Giang Huy

– What is the state management responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in this regard, Minister?

– It is true that the agricultural sector has not fulfilled its responsibilities, has not forecast the market and regulate it, even under normal conditions. In unusual conditions like Covid-19, it is even more difficult to predict. The whole industry will have to reorganize.

We have a vague production background, from farming, consumption to distribution center. Farmers are “blind” about market demand, consumption, output, and quality standards. Cultivation is often based on vague information, passed on to each other. Agricultural traders are “blind” about the place of production, making it difficult for consumers to connect.

Consumers are “blind” about the origin, about food safety and hygiene. Businesses are “blind” about their output until the time of harvest. And specialized management agencies at all levels are also “blind” about seasonal information, about domestic and foreign market demand. Many blind spots meet so it is difficult to predict.

How does the agricultural industry forecast supply and demand from now until the end of the year and what is the solution to control prices?

– There is now a “green channel”, urban and traditional markets have also reopened, pork has increased by 5,000-7,000 VND per kg. When opening the tourism market, the collective kitchen, the office working normally… will affect supply and demand.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development cannot influence supply and demand to increase prices. However, we will coordinate with the Government, in the short term, to solve the problem of circulation, not to be blocked at the transportation stage. In the past time, the epidemic has caused costs, traders will add to the price, pushing the purchase price down to compensate.

The prevention of Covid-19 is not in precedent, it is not predictable. Prevention and control of epidemics between localities are also different, so the supply chain is broken. In the past 4 months, the market needed but agricultural products could not come due to the problem of “green channel”, “red channel”.

The minister is not the one to decide all market stories. Once again, with the flow of people from the cities to the localities, it is very likely that the outbreak will start again. Recently, there is information that a new strain has appeared that is more dangerous than the Delta strain. When it will come, no one knows. Therefore, all alternatives are conjecture. We will analyze the supply, review the consumer demand during the Tet holidays for many years, analyze the data, work with the distribution centers to have a scenario for the Tet holiday.

The Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to summarize the vaccine demand of the entire agricultural product chain, so that the Ministry of Health would allocate vaccines, focus on the chain of agricultural products to serve the Tet holiday to reduce costs and increase prices for farmers. I also hope people try to stay calm. The ministry will do all its responsibilities and not be insensitive.

How does the ministry calculate the fundamental solution to promote the sustainable development of livestock, including pig farming in Vietnam?

– In the past, the agricultural industry considered its mission to encourage production, so just keep producing and monitoring production to see how much rice, fish and shrimp the locality has. It is not a market economy, just raw agricultural products lying in the field. I confused that, so now to not be confused, I have to have data.

Until now, the authorities kept encouraging the agricultural industry to produce and grow crops in the best way, and the matter of buying and selling belonged to the people, but that was not possible. The agricultural sector must also take care of the market story, because the market decides what to encourage people to increase and decrease what.

Many times, encouraging production to increase does not mean increasing income, sometimes even the opposite, like this time, when meat production is high, but people’s incomes are struggling.

In order to adapt to market rules, at the beginning of the crop, the local agricultural sector must gather and make statistics in their area, to estimate how much the output is harvested at each time. Digital technology solves that very easily. Artificial intelligence connects people and things, also connecting input and output agricultural products.

Hoang Thuy