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China to issue subsidies for large pig farms: state planner

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China's state planner said on Monday it will issue subsidies of up to 5 million yuan (S$966,600) to support the construction of large-scale pig farms in Beijing's latest measure to promote pig farming after a devastating disease ravaged its hog herd.

[BEIJING] China's state planner said on Monday it will issue subsidies of up to 5 million yuan (S$966,600) to support the construction of large-scale pig farms in Beijing's latest measure to promote pig farming after a devastating disease ravaged its hog herd.

The subsidies - to be at least 500,000 yuan but no more than 30 per cent of the total project investment - must be issued by the end of 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on its website.

They can also be issued to farms seeking to expand, with the funds aimed at helping producers cover the cost of equipment for disease prevention, waste treatment, environmental controls and automated feeding.

The move comes as official figures show China's hog herd, the world's largest, has shrunk by almost a third since a year ago, after deadly African swine fever swept across the country.

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Pork prices began rising sharply in June in response to the reduced supplies, reaching a fresh record, and Beijing has warned that they will go higher, threatening to become a serious concern for low-income consumers.

China's vice-premier has repeatedly urged provincial authorities to ensure sufficient pork supplies and boost a recovery in hog production.

The NDRC document said the state planner will also subsidise 100 counties to set up facilities to collect, treat and reuse manure from pig and poultry farms.

The money, to be issued over two years, will be targeted at counties with at least 100,000 pigs. It will amount to no more than 50 per cent of the project investment and be capped at 30 million yuan.

REUTERS