The new facility is designed to enhance research into animal nutrition and sustainable feed production, as well as to support student training, said the feed additives producer.
The German company said it wants to improve the quality of research into animal nutrition, feed technology and new products, and, in doing so, hopefully foster growth of the local industry.
The facility will produce mash feed for research trials. It is set up to handle various small batches, while minimizing cross-contamination, it added.
Dr Girish Channarayapatna, technical service director, Evonik, Singapore, told FeedNavigator the new mill should prove invaluable for improving the students’ technical knowledge.
He said a major challenge for the feed and livestock industry in Vietnam is adapting or changing production technology, particularly in terms of antibiotic-free animal production and the evaluation of alternatives feeding approaches and the use of feed additives.
“Development and validation of the research activities on feeding concepts, and new products based on industry requirements are essential to address the challenges of animal industry.
“Any new feeding concepts or the development of products for practical application should be tested in pelleted feed to allow for the adoption of the concept commercially.
“The new feed mill will improve the ability of Vietnamese specialists in animal nutrition to professionally evaluate feeding concepts as well as feed additives. In times of dramatic changes in animal production, it is essential to be able to differentiate good concepts from fake concepts and good products from fake products. The answer about what is good and what is fake can only be found in scientifically based animal trials and such trials require perfectly prepared trial feeds as an essential pre-condition. Such science based evaluation of feeding concepts and feed additives will help [Vietnamese] feed and animal producers to improve their profitability.”
Dominance of foreign feed firms
Vietnam’s animal feed market has attracted many foreign feed companies, such as Thailand’s CP Group, US owned Cargill, South Korea’s CJ, De Heus from the Netherlands, Singapore’s Haid and Malaysia’s Emivest, due to the country's two-digit growth in the past 20 years.
With the increasing number of foreign investors in the sector, Vietnam is today the leading country in ASEAN and the 10th in the world in animal feed production, according to a report on a local media outlet.
A report from Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) showed that though Vietnamese animal feed producers outnumber foreign peers, they only hold a market share of around 35%.
And, despite their domination, many foreign feed groups such as CJ and De Heus are planning to further expand production in Vietnam to meet rising demand.
Such international feed companies have a history of research and invention for feed tailored to each growth stage of pigs and chickens, said Pham Duc Binh, said vice-chair of the Vietnamese Animal Feed Association.
Meanwhile, domestic enterprises are vulnerable due to lack of capital, slow investment in modern production lines, and a shortage of raw materials, he added.
To minimize the monopoly of FDI enterprises in the domestic feed market and to create competition on feed prices, Binh said that state support was needed, certainly in relation to capital borrowing and raw material access.