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Traditions and local use of native Vietnamese chicken breeds in sustainable rural farming

  • T.N. LAN PHUONG (a1), K.D.T. DONG XUAN (a1) and I. SZALAY (a1)

Vietnam enjoys the richest natural resources and favourable conditions for agricultural development including poultry production. Backyard chicken production is considered as a traditional system in Vietnam, as it has a short production cycle and requires low investment. Despite the increase of semi-intensive and intensive farming, the self-sufficient backyard farming system is still practised by 84-85% of rural families in the Northeast-Northwest of Vietnam and approximately 42-71% of those in the Southeast-Mekong River Delta regions. Breeds raised in such systems are mostly popular local chicken breeds which accounted for over 70% of the country's total chicken population in 2007. In this paper, more than 30 native Vietnamese chicken breeds with their origin and endangered status are listed and the breeding traditions related to these native breeds are discussed. Moreover, some proposals are given for a particular conservation strategy regarding the possibilities to utilise the native Vietnamese chicken breeds in sustainable rural farming. It has been concluded that governmental conservation efforts should meet the natural way to save the local native breeds by local inhabitants. In this way, a sustainable on-farm chicken conservation pattern can be elaborated not only for Vietnam but also for the countries or regions which have similarly rich, valuable biodiversity, agro-biodiversity and agricultural traditions. For this, local researchers should be encouraged to study economic traits, veterinary status, and all special characteristics of the local breeds in the frames of an official, national gene conservation programme.

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