Nguyen Xuan Duong, head of the agriculture ministry's Livestock Production Department, said that the costs of animal feed in the country is 15-20 per cent higher than in other countries across the region.
Le Ba Lich, chairman of Viet Nam's Animal Feed Association, said the prices of protein and energy feeds have experienced the steepest increase, by 40 per cent, in comparison with the same period of last year.
Meanwhile, the rest are about 10-15 per cent higher, he said.
Le Quang Thanh, director of the Thai Duong Breeding Company, said that animal feeds have to be transferred through two or three intermediaries who can set any price they want before they reache the farmers.
However, the farmers cannot adjust the prices for poultry or cattle according to the rising input costs due to competing with imported products and the demand from domestic customers.
They are suffering an average loss of VND15,000 (US$0.7) on a three-kilo chicken and VND100,000 ($4.76) on a twenty-kilo pig, he said.
Duong said it is the dramatic increase in the prices of animal feeds in the first six months that is giving breeders problems.
Many of them stopped breeding altogether or have cut back their scale of production, he said.
There are a total of 304 million birds and 26.5 million pigs nationwide, more than 2 and 0.52 per cent less than the same period last year respectively, he said.
According to experts and farmers, animal feed companies and their agents are making huge profits due to the soaring prices.
Nevertheless, Lich, does not blame them, but blames the ministry for being irresponsible.
He said the ministry need to publish specific criteria on every kind of animal feed, which would remove the need for inspections by the authorities, as they contribute to the rising cost of animal foodstuffs.
Duong said the department is working with the Department of Price Control at the Ministry of Finance, to put together measures that will reveal the unreasonable prices charged for animal feeds and the mismatch of input and output costs levied by feed companies.
Deputy minister Vu Van Tam said that the ministry, in co-operation with the provinces, would restructure the country's breeding industry so that farmers are protected from unexpected changes in the prices of input materials.