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Livestock research beefs up nation’s food security

The National Agriculture Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) has developed 10 methods of livestock rearing which will improve food security and bolster animal exports.
NAFRI officials said one of the techniques they have researched relates to the feeding of cows that have just given birth.

Other areas of study include the feeding of cattle in grass fields and methods of providing nourishment to calves. Suckling newly born pigs and feeding them in pens, exploring the impact that different foods have on pork quality, and studying other techniques for the hatching and feeding of chicks have also been part of the institute’s endeavours.
NAFRI has also studied food types that will produce larger animals of better quality. For instance, NAFRI has produced four food mixes for cattle which can increase an animal’s weight by up to 708 grams a day.
New diets have seen goats’ weight gain go from 45 grams a day to 85 grams a day. Supplements added to pig feed have seen their weight gain go from 100 grams to 200-300 grams a day.    
NAFRI has now provided a total of 11,250 animals that were produced by artificial insemination to farmers across the country.  This stock is expected to improve the quality of Lao beef in the years ahead.
Industry officials believe these measures will help Lao farmers expand their operations and deliver on the nation’s quest for better food security and a more thriving network of domestic and international trade relationships. 
According to a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry report, the number of livestock farms increased by about 10 percent last year, up from 1,247 farms to 1,370 farms.
The total number of livestock increased by 5.2 percent. The number of cattle reached 1.92 million - an increase of 5 percent.
The value of livestock exports in 2018 is expected to be double that of 2017.
In 2017, Laos earned about US$36.6 million from the export of cattle and buffaloes.
In the first 10 months of 2018, that figure hit US$69.5 million, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. 
Livestock is among Laos’ top three export products to Vietnam and among the top 20 products sold to China. 

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update May 9, 2019)

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