BEIJING, Sept 11 (Reuters) - China has issued a series of policies this month aimed at supporting national hog production, as pork prices have surged to record highs following the worst disease outbreak to ever hit the world’s leading producer of the meat.
China’s hog herd has shrunk by a third since being hit by African swine fever in mid-2018, according to official data, although many in the industry believe the losses to be much greater.
Below are some of the national policies issued since the start of September. They follow an Aug. 30 meeting during which China’s Vice Premier Hu Chunhua urged provincial officials to prioritise the recovery of pig production, and ensure pork supply “by all means”.
Many provinces have also published plans to boost pig production and stabilise pork supplies in recent weeks.
* Sept 9 - China’s state planner said it will issue subsidies of up to 5 million yuan ($700,000) to support the construction of large pig farms and commit additional funds to help counties treat pig and poultry manure.
* Sept 7 - China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment said provincial authorities should speed up environmental impact assessment for farms, support large farms that need to be relocated for environmental reasons, and improve and expand waste treatment facilities. It also urged authorities to not follow a “one-size fits all” approach for farm permits, and not to implement bans outside the scope of national laws.
* Sept 6 - China’s agriculture ministry said it will step up subsidies for equipment such as automated pig-feeders, tools for disease prevention and waste treatment.
* Sept 5 - China’s Ministry of Natural Resources said it will simplify procedures and reduce the cost of land for pig farms. It has also abolished the 1-hectare (2.5-acre) limit for pig farms. The policy has already been implemented by some provinces, including Sichuan.
* Sept 4 - China’s Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs asked local governments to expand subsidized loans to more pig farms and increase the insurance coverage per head. The coverage for each sow will rise to 1,500 yuan from 1,000-1,200 yuan, while the insured amount for commercial pigs will rise to 800 yuan from 500-600 yuan.
* Sept 3 - China’s Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said from Sept. 1 through June 30, 2020, vehicles transporting breeding pigs and frozen pork will be exempt from highway tolls. (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Tom Hogue)