African swine fever causes concern over pork supply hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source: Duc Duy/VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) - According to the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, pork supply remains adequate at the moment; however African swine fever outbreaks might cause supply difficulties during the year-end period and lunar New Year holiday.

African swine fever (AFS) is spreading in a complicated manner in localities nationwide, making a big impact on pork supply during the year-end period and lunar New Year holiday.

Pork prices inch up

According to a report from the Hanoi authorities, AFS has so far spread to many districts, inflicting serious damage on farmers. Most recently, in half a month, approximately 10,000 pigs were culled per day.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said pork prices have been fluctuating for days.

After falling for a while, on-the-hoof pig price has increased by 2,000 – 3,000 VND in Hanoi. However, the price has followed a downward trend in some localities.

In this context, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the purchase of pork for freezing is necessary. However, he said the freezing capacity of Vietnamese slaughtering facilities remains limited, adding that they are likely to face difficulties in resources, infrastructure and finance.

Vietnam has a total 387 concentrated abattoirs, while more than 27,000 small slaughterhouses are operated, mostly in the Red River Delta.

Hai also pointed to the fact that Vietnam’s demand for frozen food is limited, causing concerns over the distribution of such products.

Vo Viet Dung, Chairman of the Director Board at the Nam Hanoi food processing corporation, agreed with the freezing option.

He proposed the State consider policies that protect enterprises’ interests as the costs for such solution are high.

Le Van Loc, vice director of the Dong Nai Department of Industry and Trade, expressed concern over finding a freezing warehouse that meets both scale and temperature standards.

The cost of freezing is lower than that of culling, but the point is how to find a suitable warehouse, even at big industrial parks, he said.

Planning export options

Ensuring price stability is a priority of the MoIT in the remaining months of 2019.

Vice Director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Phuong Lan said to prevent soaring prices of necessities, particularly pork, the department has completed its price stability programme in 2019 for submission to local authorities.

According to her, the programme targets 11 goods groups – food, whose consumption reaches 32,500 tonnes per month on average; poultry eggs 43 million units per month; sugar 1,080 tonnes per month; edible oil 2.1 million litres per month; vegetables and fruits 36,100 tonnes per month; pork 6,500 tonnes per month; seafood 1,800 tonnes per month; chicken meat 2,100 tonnes per month; spices 540 tonnes per month; and milk products for children 6.9 million litres per month.

The amount of the targeted goods accounts for a total of 35 percent of market demand in a month.

Pork supply for Hanoi will also be sourced from other localities nationwide and from Indonesia and France, Lan unveiled.

Enterprises participating in the programme will use their capital or preferential loans to invest in improving their farming, production, storage and distribution systems.

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade will also link its programme with the "Vietnamese people prioritise using Vietnamese goods" campaign to extend its reach to suburban and industrial areas.

On the prevention of AFS, Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai said more attention should be paid to ensuring food safety and hygiene in pork purchase and freezing.

The MoIT also recommended coordination among ministries, localities and enterprises to support farmers and study the supply and demand of food products, including pork, in the near future.-VNA