TOKYO -- Major Japanese livestock feed producer Feed One will raise production capacity by 50% at its plant in Vietnam, with plans to offer chicken and swine feeds that are easier to eat than traditional products and can lead to shorter raising periods. The production increase could start in September.
Vietnam is one of the biggest pork producers in Asia, with a stock of around 27 million pigs, about three times the number in Japan and the largest within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Many cattle farmers previously made their own feeds, but they are increasingly shifting to easy-to-use compound feeds. Feed One hopes to boost sales in the country, where demand is expected to grow even further.
Kyodo Siryo, one of Feed One's three premerger companies, and Sojitz jointly established Kyodo Sojitz Feed in Vietnam and began compound feed production in 2013. The merger took place in 2015.
The company will add one more production line to the existing two lines at its plant in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City and increase output by 50% to 200,000 tons annually.
Feed One will produce feeds for swine and chickens containing corn and soybean meal. The feed pellets are well solidified, meaning they are less prone to disintegrating into powder during transportation. Once in powder form, feeds are difficult for livestock to eat.
According to Feed One, the easy-to-eat feeds can slash the period of time needed to raise livestock for slaughter.
Until about a decade ago, many cattle farmers in Vietnam would blend rice bran and soybean meal to create feeds on their own.
In recent years, however, compound feeds have come into wider use as foreign makers have started touting benefits including increased growth rates.
Now, an increase in demand can be anticipated in other Southeast Asian countries with growing populations. Feed One will also step up business in other parts of Asia.
The company wants to set itself apart from its rivals by manufacturing and selling high-value-added feeds using technologies developed in Japan.
Sales at Feed One for the year ended March 2017 declined 9% on the year to 207.9 billion yen ($1.85 billion).
Overseas operations with Asia at the core will form the focus of Feed One's strategy as little demand growth is expected in its home country in the mid to long term. Japan faces a fall in demand for meat due to its low birthrate and aging population as well as fierce price competition.