The earthquake in China which claimed thousands of human lives last week has also caused enormous damage to the agricultural sector – mainly related to poultry and pig production.
The great fear now is the spread of disease, the Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad reports.
According to the Chinese authorities 12,5 million pieces of livestock have died as a result of the earthquake, mainly poultry. Also approximately 792,000 pigs in the province Sichuan have been killed by the earthquake. Sichuan’s pig herd totals 60 millions animals.
The disaster occurred just before the beginning of the warm season, where diseases such as Classical Swine Fever (CSF) and blue-ear disease (PRRS) in Sichuan were in circulation. The structural damage, and bad accessibility caused by the earthquake along with hygiene standards have increased the chances of diseases spreading.
“Prevention of contagious diseases is one of our biggest priorities in the relief efforts,” according to the Chinese government officials.
The horticultural sector has also been hit hard. According to official figures 15% of production and 50,000 greenhouses in the region are also damaged. The damage on irrigation systems will over time have huge effect. The fear is that large areas of rice production will dry up.
â€¢ Agrarisch Dagblad
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