Fresh milk production currently meets only 28 per cent of demand; moreover, about 20-50 per cent of milk fails to meet the standards of processing companies, forcing them to import the product from overseas, according to the agriculture ministry.
Chairman of the Viet Nam Livestock Association Nguyen Dang Vang said at the conference that imports totalled roughly US$841 million in 2012, making Viet Nam one of the top 20 milk-importing countries.
Vang recommended setting up an educational centre to teach farm owners how to take advantage of advanced technology.
The country aimed to have 500,000 milk cows by 2020 under a strategy to develop the domestic dairy cattle industry approved by the Government in 2008, Thu said.
There are an estimated 170,000 milk cows at present, a number that could be vastly increased by adopting new technology.
Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan said that advanced technology would also help milk processing companies become more competitive.