December 27, 2019 / 11:20 AM / 22 days ago

China's top pig producing region vows to return to normal levels in 2020

FILE PHOTO: A customer looks at a pig's foot at a Walmart in Beijing, China September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s top pig producer Sichuan province pledged to produce 60 million hogs in 2020, around levels in previous years, state media reported on Friday, after a deadly pig disease decimated the country’s massive pig herd.

China’s pig herd is more than 40% smaller than a year ago, after African swine fever swept through the country since it was first detected in August last year.

Pig production in Sichuan also fell 18% in the first three quarters of the year, to 35.82 million heads, according to official data. In 2018, the province produced 66.38 pigs, highest in China.

The southwestern province will allocate the pig output target to the districts and counties within the region, in the form of “letter of responsibility,” Xinhua news reported.

To reach the target, the local authorities will also give 300 yuan ($42.89) of subsidy for every newly added sow, and subsidize companies that restart deserted pig farms or build news ones, part of an overall effort to boost pig production, Xinhua reported.

China has issued a series of measures to guarantee supplies of the country’s favorite meat, and urged local authorities to follow through to increase production within their regions.

Sichuan has opened 435 new pig farms since August, which are expected to produce 9 million more pigs, according to Xinhua.

Reporting by Hallie Gu and Tom Daly, editing by Louise Heavens

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