Fresh pork shortage in Kuching not severe since supply remains sufficient, says Dr Rundi

Posted on 19 Dec 2022
Source of News: The Borneo Post Sarawak

Source: The Borneo Post

Dr Rundi said the pig farming area in Simunjan is supplying enough fresh pork to the market in Kuching.– AFP photo

KUCHING (Dec 19): Half of the pig farms in Sarawak have been affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF), resulting in the current shortage of fresh pork in the city, said Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

The Food Industries, Commodities and Regional Development Minister, however, said the shortage of fresh pork is not severe given that the supply remains sufficient.

According to him, the pig farming area (PFA) in Simunjan is supplying enough fresh pork to the market here.

“The shortage of fresh pork is due to half of the farms in Sarawak affected by ASF. However, Borneo Pork outlet (PFA Simunjan) is still selling fresh pork and supply is enough,” he said today when asked whether there was any shortage of fresh pork here.

Also contacted was Sarawak Livestock Breeders Association committee member Dr Ng Siew Thiam who said the current shortage of fresh pork would not be a problem to celebrants of Lunar New Year early next year.

According to him, there is a reduced supply of fresh pork and the shortage is not acute.

“We still can cope with the demand and there will be sufficient supply of pork for this coming Chinese New Year,” he said.

Dr Ng said the shortage of fresh pork happened in wet markets because the number of butchers in these trading places had registered a drop.

He said there were few butchers in wet markets also because due to the limited supply of live pigs.

He further said that the limited supply of live pigs was due to ASF, which led to the closure of many pig farms.

“There is a limited supply of live pigs because of ASF which resulted in depopulation of pigs and many farmers closed their farms because they don’t want to take the risks,” he added.

Dr Ng said he could not provide a figure on how many pig farms had closed down due to ASF.

As for the prices of fresh pork, he said they keep on soaring and it also depends on the demand and supply.

“There is no standard price as it quite depends on butchers naming the price. More importantly, there are variables determining the price, one of them being the limited supply of live pigs.”

He said many consumers had opted for frozen pork and they would not have difficulties in acquiring frozen pork.

He said when there was shortage of fresh pork in wet markets, consumers may still be able to get fresh pork at selected retail outlets.

“The shortage of fresh pork can be addressed by replacement of frozen and imported pork. Many food services use frozen pork,” added Dr Ng.

The Borneo Post made a trip to the Stutong Community Market here to find the live pig section closed for business today.

According to a petty trader there, the shortage of fresh pork has been ongoing for a couple of weeks.

“There is a shortage but I don’t know why since I am not a pork seller,” said the trader.

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