A knowledge and skills exchange project supported by the Newton Fund is boosting the productivity of Vietnam's dairy farming sector.
Milk is an important source of protein, rich in many nutrients essential for health and wellbeing. In Vietnam, the dairy sector has become an important source of income, owing to an increasing population and appetite for dairy products. However, domestic dairy farmers are struggling to meet demand, with only 30 percent of Vietnam's milk consumption met domestically.
Improving fertility in the Vietnamese dairy cow herd has been identified as a priority to develop dairy productivity and in turn to increase farmers' incomes.
Supported by Research Environment Links under the Newton Fund Professional Development and Engagement programme, experts from the UK’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh travelled to Vietnam to share knowledge and expertise of dairy herd productivity with 350 veterinarians and students.
In Vietnam, 900 dairy cows that were struggling to get in calf were examined by the UK team and diagnosed with conditions that prevented them from ovulating. The team ran a series of workshops to highlight these issues to Vietnamese dairy farmers, veterinarians and farm consultants.
Impact and mutual benefit
As well as the workshops, the UK team produced guidance literature to help professionals diagnose fertility issues correctly so they can be appropriately treated.
It also enabled the UK project team to reach a wide audience, and to make a significant impact on dairy cow fertility and milk production.
"Through these activities, we gained benefits, not only from the perspective of hormone therapy, but also from the vision and mission of animal welfare in dairy farming in Edinburgh."
Associate Professor Dr Su Thanh Long, Vietnam National University of Agriculture