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Vietnam to import pork to serve domestic demand

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) have proposed the Government import pork based on the directions of Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

The imports aim to protect businesses, farmers and consumers, Hoang Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Domestic Market Department, said at an online dialogue held by the Government’s online newspaper on November 26.

He said Vietnam has traded pork with 24 countries and imports will depend on businesses’ demand to ensure pork supply before, during and after Tet, he said.

The ministry will work with the agriculture sector to control imported pork products to ensure food safety.

According to Nguyen Xuan Duong, Acting Director of the MARD’s Department of Livestock Production, pork has no import quotas and is controlled by quarantine.

He said due to African swine fever, pork supply would be short at about 200,000 tonnes so Vietnam must import pork to meet domestic demand.

If the State had good control of quality and origin for pork imports, the agricultural sector would not be afraid of imports, Duong said. However, pork prices across the world were also high so imported pork products wouldn't necessarily be cheap.

Meanwhile, along with safe pig breeding, the MARD wants localities to prepare more poultry, cattle and seafood products, while citizens need to restructure meals to ensure nutrition and avoid dependence on pork.

Pham Huy Dang, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Hanoi  - the second largest producer of pork in the country after Dong Nai province - said the department was guiding farmers to breed pigs safely.

To control the disease, Dang said it was important that authorities have good management of facilities in the pork trade.

The MoIT also asked departments of industry and trade to work with processing enterprises and slaughterhouses to control African swine fever.