There is adequate supply of pork for domestic consumption till the end of 2022, quashing the need to import from neighbouring countries, said the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

“The ministry has not allowed the import of pigs for nine months now because local production has been sufficient,” General Department of Animal Health and Production director-general Tan Phannara told a press conference following an event to mark the ministry’s five-year achievements.

In a bid to prevent illegal imports, his department has cooperated with relevant parties over the past months to crack down on 16 cases of unlawful live-pig imports.

In a case last week, 80 hogs that found their way into Cambodia from Vietnam via Prey Veng province were culled and incinerated after they were suspected of being infected with African swine fever following quarantine.

“I can guarantee that we can supply the local market until the end of the year without the need to import. Following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s call to trim imports and boost domestic production, we will continue to promote and encourage farmers to raise more animals, whose husbandry capacity has increased since 2020,” Phannara said.

Meanwhile, Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association (CLRA) president Srun Pov said the current supply of pigs was not only enough but was also facing an excess, causing slight downward pressure on the price of the live animals.

He argued that since the going rates of live hogs in neighbouring countries is more expensive than the prices of Cambodian pigs, it makes little sense to import them into the Kingdom.

In addition, the problem of falling pork prices occurs in the rainy season as pigs are cheaper compared to fish as the season is replete with aquatic stock, resulting in a low demand for pork.

“The current price of live pigs is 11,000 riel [$2.75] per kilogramme, but the [operating] cost for farmers is higher, which forces some farmers to give up.

“The drop in prices could also be due to more farmers raising livestock, as large local farms start to expand,” Srun said.

Mong Reththy, chairman of the Mong Reththy Group, said farmers and investors can now produce an average of three million pigs a year.

“Pig production has increased significantly, with a daily supply of 8,300 hogs on the domestic market, which has slightly outpaced demand,” he said.

That being said, Srun noted that the price of live pigs is expected to return to normal in mid-August. “Cambodia needs about 8,000 hogs per day but domestic production exceeds this demand.”