Chinese pig breeders to get subsidies
To compensate the soaring pork price, the Chinese government is to contribute
1.15 billion yuan ($152 million) toward sow insurance
"We've embarked on the project in central and western areas," the ministry
said in a statement. "And the first subsidies, 558 million yuan, will be in
place very soon." Under the new rule, the central government will pay 50% of
breeders' sow insurance premiums, with a further 30% coming from the municipal
government. Farmers will then have to contribute just 20%.
Massive pig culls
Pork production has fallen dramatically
in recent months, mostly because of pig breeders' dampened enthusiasm due to
rising food costs and falling prices. Many were also hit by the massive pig
culls that followed outbreaks of blue-ear disease. With fewer pigs being reared,
pork prices have escalated. In June, the wholesale price was up 74.6% year on
year, while the average retail price for lean pork exceeded 22 yuan per
Such hikes, along with other food price rises, pushed the
consumer price index to 3.4% in May, higher than the 3% target set by the
government for the whole of 2007. In response, the government has introduced a
number of measures to control the soaring index.
Also yesterday, the China Banking Regulatory Commission
(CBRC) said banks and financial institutions should create a favorable
environment for pork breeders. "We must make it easier for pork breeders to
access loans," Jiang Dingzhi, vice-chairman of the CBRC, said. Meanwhile, the
government has said it will pay 470 million yuan to low-income families and 277
million yuan to college students to help offset the higher pork prices.
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