An estimated seven million households in Vietnam produce pigs, according to a profile of national livestock production prepared by the Vietnamese Ministry Of Agriculture And Rural Development for an intergovernmental meeting on avian influenza held in Hanoi.

Projections from the ministry’s livestock department suggest that on-farm pig numbers in Vietnam could rise from 33 million in 2008 to 57.6 million in 2020, taking the country’s annual pork production from 2.77 million to 4.12 million metric tons, as the demand for pork by Vietnamese consumers rises by 38% from 30.7 kilograms to 42.5 kilograms per person per year.

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Vietnam is a rapidly growing nation with a population of some 86 million people, according to the ministry. Its human population is expected to increase to 110 million by 2030—equivalent to adding another million people annually. Population density is highest in the Red River Delta and the south and southeast, including the Mekong River Delta and Ho Chi Minh City. In 2009, 29.6% of the population was living in towns or cities, compared with 23.5% in 1999. Urbanization is a strong influence on the market, with 77% of all population growth over the past 10 years occurring in cities.

Livestock production is one of the fastest growing sub-sectors in Vietnam’s agriculture and is projected to account for about 42% of the agricultural yearly turnover by 2020. Based on a recent assessment, agriculture represents about 22% of the national GDP and more than 60% of employment. The livestock sub-sector supplies 27% of agriculture’s share of gross domestic product (about 6% of the total gross domestic product). Out of this, pig production is the most significant contributor—it provides about 71% of the total contribution to national income from all livestock sectors.