Wed, May 10, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Pork markets to be closed for one day ahead of festival

’ZONGZI’:The lack of pig products is due to avian flu and heat stress, the COA said, as it attempts to preserve supplies for the Dragon Boat Festival

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Pigs lie down and walk around in a shed on a farm in Chiayi County on Monday.

Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsien, Taipei Times

The Council of Agriculture (COA) on Monday announced that pork markets nationwide will be closed on Monday next week to save supply for Dragon Boat Festival two weeks later, while Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar) is to provide 3,000 hogs to stabilize the market amid a shortage.

The council said the supply of hogs has been lacking in the first half of the year.

“In the past week, the average price of pork has risen from NT$77 to NT$79 per kilogram,” Department of Animal Industry Deputy Director Wang Chung-shu (王忠恕) said.

The lack of pork can be ascribed to heat stress in June and July last year, when hot weather affected the breeding of hogs nationwide, Wang said.

Another factor was the avian flu earlier this year, which prompted greater demand for pork in place of poultry, Wang said.

With the Dragon Boat Festival on May 30, people will be looking to buy pork to make zongzi (粽子), glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves, for offerings, he said.

In a bid to ensure supply for the festival, the council is to close the pork market for one day.

“The day off is estimated to keep 1,300 hogs in the supply,” Wang said.

Some hog farmers complained that closing the market was too drastic, but the council said it had no choice but to try to stabilize the market.

Taisugar, the nation’s largest hog-farming entity, was asked to increase its supplies, he said.

“We will supply an additional 3,000 hogs this month,” Taisugar deputy chief executive officer of animal raising and processing Wu Zhao-hong (吳昭宏) said.

“The price of pork is expected to stablize after the Dragon Boat Festival,” Wang said.

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