Netherlands-based animal feed company De Heus has started the construction of a demonstration farm for 400 sows and 800 finisher places in Vung Tau province, Vietnam. The aim is to have the farm populated by the end of 2016.
The farm will breed its own pigs, from nucleus to F1 sows. The demonstration farm should offer an experience of how to organise a modern pig farm, and is aimed at pig farmers, local consultants of the animal feed company, governments and chain partners.
The farm will be managed by Rick van der Linden, the Netherlands, for the next 2 years. His father owns sow operations in the Netherlands and in Germany.
Van der Linden told Pig Progress, “My task is twofold. I am responsible for the technical management of the company. We aim to farrow 28 piglets per sow in the second year. Our biggest challenge in keeping pigs is the tropical climate. In addition, I will develop and provide training for our target group. Our aim is for the example company to perform well after 2 years and a Vietnamese manager will be able to continue my work.”
Vietnamese pig producers are open to the message, Van der Linden expects. “There is an enormous group of young ambitious people in Vietnam. I think 5 years from now the setup and the practices of the demonstration farm will make their way into private companies in Vietnam.
The importance of the new site is that pig farmers see how important it is to work in a structured and systematically way. Van der Linden said, “Thinking ahead is also important, for instance in the construction of a new pig sty. Working according to a week-system like in Europe is unknown in Vietnam. Working with this system means that the main activities like farrowing, insemination and weaning are not happening in the same week, but clustered. In Vietnam, a sow on heat simply goes to the boar. Structuring management will vastly improve the results.”