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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Central Planning Officials in China Urge Construction of Hog Farms in Other Nations


In a joint statement from the Central State Planning Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture, producers in China are urged to establish hog raising and processing facilities in other nations in order to export product back to the homeland.  This approach was adopted by the WH Group (formerly Shuanghui Group) when they purchased Smithfield Foods of the U.S. in 2013. The holding company also operates production facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania and Germany.


The initiative is clearly a recognition that African swine fever will be difficult to control given the present structure of the hog industry in China which relies on a multitude of small family- operated units to raise hogs.  These farms have ineffective biosecurity and the transport of large numbers of hogs over long distances to packing plants disseminates infection.


It appears that state planners are employing extreme measures to boost production including allowing farmers to erect temporary pens on unused land without consideration of waste disposal.


Contrary to assertions by the Ministry of Agriculture, incident cases of African swine fever have been reported although not through official channels.  Control of African swine fever in the context of the industry in China will be difficult if not impossible without an effective vaccine. In addition a high level of biosecurity will be required. This can only be achieved through complete integration that is currently lacking.  Pork prices indicate that despite imports, although temporarily disrupted by COVIN-19, China has not been able to constrain the escalation in price.

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane