African swine fever (ASF) spread to all 63 provinces in Vietnam since it was first detected in February. Now, the country is calling upon farmers to increase pork production.
More than 5 million pigs, 18% of the total hog herd, have been culled due to ASF, according to an article published by Reuters. ASF is credited with driving up Vietnamese live hog prices up 70% since the beginning of the year to around $2.59 per kilogram.
Meanwhile, the country is bracing for increased pork demand due to the Lunar New Year in late January, says Agriculture Minister Nguyen Zuan Cuong.
“We encourage large-sized farms that meet hygienic requirements to expand their pig production,” Cuong says.
In May, farmers had been encouraged to shift focus away from pork production and towards cattle, poultry and aquaculture, according to the article. Since the beginning of the year, Vietnamese beef production has risen 4.2%, poultry production has risen 13.5%, and aquaculture increased 6.1% since the beginning of the year.
However, Cuong now says ASF has “initially been contained and shown signs of slowing down” and is encouraging farmers to shift production towards pork again.
“Farmers’ efforts to enhance hygienic conditions on farms have helped put a brake on the spread,” Cuong says.
However, the Reuters article reports Cuong did not elaborate on what he means by ASF “slowing down” in Vietnam or about ASF being “initially contained.”