China to offer financial support to sow farms to rebuild pig herd

BEIJING, June 3 (Reuters) -

* China urged provincial authorities on Monday to offer financial support to sow farms and large-scale pig farms to help stabilise pork production after African swine fever caused a sharp decline in its hog herd

* Credit guarantee providers should actively provide credit guarantee services to breeding farms and large-scale farms that produce more than 5,000 hogs a year, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in a notice on its website

* It also called for guarantees on expiring loans to be extended for farmers and loan guarantees to be simplified and processing times to be shortened

* Interest rates on bank loans for farming companies should be capped at 2%, said the document

* The moves come after the ministry said China’s breeding herd fell by 22% in April from a year ago, the largest drop ever, and raising worries of a shortage of pork in the world’s top producer and consumer of the meat (Reporting by Dominique Patton; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)