A survey of manure management on pig farms in Northern Vietnam

nimal manure can provide nutrients for crop and fish production and input for biogas production but, if managed inappropriately, can also have a negative impact on the environment. The objective of this survey was to provide information about pig production and manure management practices in the Northern part of Vietnam in order to identify and prioritize research needs for future improvements in pig manure management. A survey was conducted by in-depth interviews on 54 pig farms in two Northern Vietnamese provinces, Thai Binh and Bac Giang. In addition to the survey, also key informant responses were obtained in the two provinces to help identify problems with existing manure management. The survey showed that large-scale pig producers (> 100 fatteners or 20 sows) had more pigs per hectare than medium-scale (19–99 fatteners, 5–19 sows) or small-scale (< 19 fatteners, < 5 sows) producers. Biogas was produced from 43% of the total manure produced on all surveyed farms, and was used for cooking. The proportion of total manure applied to crops was only 5% in Thai Binh and 35% in Bac Giang. Large-scale producers tended to operate smaller fishponds, and medium-scale farms operated larger ones. The farmers were of the opinion that fish in ponds fertilized with pig manure grew significantly faster than did fish in ponds supplied with other feed or types of fertilizer. Twenty percent of pig producers reported that they raised pigs just to provide manure to feed their pond fish. A large proportion (19%) of the total manure produced was discharged into public sewage systems, rivers and lakes. Of the 54 householders interviewed, 46 believed that animal manure caused serious damage to the environment. Farmers interviewed had little or no expertise in handling liquid manure, composting solid manure, or reducing contamination by means of microbial reduction of pollutants during manure management. In general, specialized pig production is seen as a commercial operation, while manure management remains non-commercial. The survey implied that more information to farmers, as well as stronger regulation of manure management, is needed in Vietnam

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