According to a FAO report released Thursday, 41 countries are currently in need of external food assistance.
The report contains a special feature on African swine fever, a contagious disease affecting domestic and wild pigs – spreading within East and Southeast Asia, threatening the livelihoods and food security of millions of people dependent on pig farming.
Pork is the most popular meat consumed in the world today and about 44 percent of world meat protein consumption is derived from pork and pork products.
Pigs play a major role in the socio-economic life of the people of Middle-Belt state of Benue in Nigeria. The pig population in Nigeria is about 3.4 million.
The Nigerian economy is mostly dependent on agriculture and various types of agribusiness related venture, which are contributing much to the national income.
Along with traditional business ideas, pig farming in Nigeria can play an important role in eradicating unemployment, poverty, nutrition lacking and many more.
In China, as of mid-June, the disease has been reported in 32 out of the 34 provincial level administrative divisions and more than 1.1 million pigs have perished or have been culled.
In addition, the disease has been reported in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, affecting millions of pigs.
One of the main drivers of the epidemic is the small-scale structure of most of the pig industry in the sub region, the report notes. This hampers the implementation of bio-security standards, an important control measure that can contribute to halting the spread of the disease.
Additionally, intra-regional trade of pig meat products, which may be contaminated, has also contributed to the high prevalence. As a result, animal health experts believe that the disease will inevitably spread farther in the coming months.
This raises concerns regarding the livelihood and food security situation of the most vulnerable subsistence farmers, as they lack the expertise and funds to protect their herds. Reports from the countries have already indicated that animal losses have caused reductions in farmers’ incomes.
Moreover, the decline in pig meat production and the depletion of the current frozen stocks are expected to result in price hikes, straining food security of the most vulnerable population.
The countries are: Nigeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe.