Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua called on farmers to raise hog production to boost dwindling pork supplies following an African swine fever epidemic, according to remarks on the official Xinhua news agency late on Thursday.
Pork had an “irreplaceably important role” to play in maintaining economic and political stability, and provincial governments needed to take action to stabilise and recover production, Hu told a national teleconference.
Farmers needed to mobilise to replenish supplies, promote large-scale farming and implement tougher controls over the market in order to prevent “abnormal fluctuations” in prices, Hu said.
The production of poultry and other products also needed to be increased to help cover shortages of pork caused by the country-wide epidemic, he said.
China’s sow herd fell by 22.3% year on year in April, according to official figures, a record drop, with millions of animals slaughtered to curb the spread of the disease.
Analysts have warned that production could decline up to 35%.