African Swine Fever hurts small farmers in ASEAN as governments try to stop its spread
African Swine Fever threatens to cripple the pork industry in Vietnam and Cambodia, as smallholder farmers struggle to prevent outbreaks.
By Skylar Lindsay, ASEAN Today
June 5, 2019
In Vietnam’s Dong Nai province, local farmers say that a pillar of their economy – and the country as a whole – is under threat.
“Farmers will surely go bankrupt if the disease hits their farms,” said Nguyen Thi Kien, a pig farmer in Dong Nai, just outside of Ho Chi Minh City.
She’s referring to African Swine Fever (ASF), a disease that’s been putting intense pressure on farmers and food supplies as it spreads from China into Vietnam and Cambodia. Vietnam reported its first case – the first in Southeast Asia – in February. It had spread to Cambodia by March.
Over the past four months, Vietnam has culled over two million pigs that farmers couldn’t use for pork. The culling shows the scale of the country’s campaign to tackle ASF – any infected pigs must be killed.
But the disease hits small pork producers hardest and governments in the region will struggle to support their farmers during this difficult time. Governments and organisations like the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) are working to help farmers access resources, stop the spread of the disease, and protect the livelihoods of Nguyen Thi Kien and her neighbours.
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