|An animal health worker checks pigs in Xà Bang Commune, Châu Đức District in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nhị|
HÀ NỘI — Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường called for the country's pig farmers to redevelop their stocks safely and quickly during a conference on Wednesday.
Cường said that one of the greatest challenges for the owners at present was to ensure food security.
Pork makes up about 65-70 per cent of the protein consumed in the country, but African Swine Fever (ASF) had been hitting production since the start of the year.
Despite efforts to control the fever, it quickly spread across the country and reached its peak a year ago. As a result, more than 1.2 million pigs were culled.
“It will take time to restore consumer confidence in pork, so we need to promote the establishment of new herds while avoiding safety risks,” he said.
At present, pork supplies meet roughly 80 per cent of demand.
Regarding prices, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến said that due to the ASF, pork prices had fluctuated between VNĐ30,000-70,000 (US$1.3-3) per kilo since last year, and rose to about VNĐ80,000 ($3.4) per kilo last month due to lack of supply and rising demand.
Reports from different localities showed that at the end of last month, the country's pork supplies had fallen by 20 per cent since the ASF broke out.
There are 15 large-scale pig farms in the country, which acount for about 35 per cent of production.
Pork productivity reached more than 811,000 tonnes in the first quarter of this year, with plans to produce more than 900,000 tonnes, 1 million tonnes and 1.1 million tonnes in the second, third and last quarters of this year, respectively.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will submit a national plan for ASF prevention and control for 2020-25 to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc for approval this month.
Provinces and cities will continue to keep a close watch on the ASF. Localities with no new cases of ASF within 30 days will declare an end to the disease so that farmers and enterprises can re-establish their herds. — VNS