China to boost pork output as swine fever drives up prices

In this May 8, 2019, photo, pigs stand in a barn at a pig farm in Panggezhuang village in northern China's Hebei province. Chinese agriculture officials are launching a nationwide initiative to boost pork production following a price spike blamed on shortages caused by an outbreak of African swine fever. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING — China is launching a nationwide initiative to boost pork production following a price spike blamed on a devastating outbreak of African swine fever.

Authorities said Wednesday that the government will take steps to accelerate the revival of hog production, prevent and control the disease and upgrade farms to further ensure pork supply and stable prices.

Peng Shaozong of the National Development and Reform Commission said government agencies will closely monitor and analyze pork prices, stabilize production and regulate the market price.

Pork prices surged 46.7% in August from a year earlier, adding 1.08 percentage points to a 2.8 percent rise in the consumer price index. The soaring price has hit Chinese consumers hard as pork accounts for more than 60% of meat consumption.

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