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Ghosts to drive up pork price

PORK vendors say they expect sales to surge ahead of the ethnic Chinese “Hungry Ghost” festival, during which relatives make offerings to their departed ancesters.

Kampong Cham province pig farmer Tenong Vuthy said he anticipates an increase in prices for today’s festival, though by a smaller amount than in previous years.

“Prices will increase, but not as much as usual,” he said, and estimated that pork would fetch about 7,000 riel per kilogram, an increase on the usual price of 5,000 or 6,000 riels.

Customers had stayed away from pig meat following the outbreak of blue ear, but were trickling back after an appeal from Prime Minister Hun Sen to eat pork, according to O’Russey market vendor Chok Eang.

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation representative Dr Lotfi Allal said two weeks ago that blue-ear disease could not be contracted by humans.

However, some customers said they were shying away from the traditional Hungry Ghost festival food staple.

“Last year we cooked pork, but now we are using chicken instead,” said Tith Vannak, a Phnom Penh shopper.

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