The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is keeping a close watch of the pork market and will promptly take measures to ensure supply amidst concerns about possible shortage due to outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in northern localities.
Talking to the Vietnam News Agency on March 8, Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Domestic Market Department Hoang Anh Tuan stressed that the ministry will not let instability happen on the pork market.
According to the official, pig farming is strongly shifting from small scale (households) to large scale (farms), with 70-75 percent of pork on the market coming from pig farms in 2018, compared to 40-45 percent in 2014. He said the move has facilitated disease control and helped reduce the spread of diseases.
Tuan reported that the volume of pigs infected by ASF and thus culled has so far accounted for only 0.012 percent of the year’s total supply, while supply of other kinds of meat is abundant, meeting consumption demand. In 2018, total meat output came to 5.35 million tonnes, including 3.81 million tonnes of pork. VNA
He said the ministry is coordinating closely with the agricultural sector and pork production and trading firms in implementing measures to maintain demand-supply balance and a stable market for pork.
According to the official, ASF outbreaks were reported in 36 communes in 17 districts of 9 provinces and central-level cities, all in the northern region, with 6,500 pigs weighing more than 450 tonnes culled from February 1 to March 6.
The ASF virus does not affect humans but causes haemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boars that is almost always fatal. There is currently no antidote or vaccine, with the only known preventative measure is a mass cull of infected livestock. The disease spreads by contact between infected pigs or other wild animals and can inflict massive economic damage on farms.