The outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 and the closure of the tourism industry led to a huge decrease in the price of pork with prices dropping from over $20 a kilo to as low as $7.50.
The President of the Fiji Pig Association, Simon Cole says the industry was poised for growth before the COVID-19 pandemic but the outbreak closed the tourism industry and dramatically changed the marketplace.
Cole says the dramatic drop in price was attributed to the over supply of pigs destined for the tourism industry that flooded into the depressed COVID market.
He adds while the three major producers in Fiji faced losses of up to 60% of their markets because of the pandemic, many of the smaller pig farms have closed.
Cole says there has been a 50% reduction in the size and numbers of piggery farms and the reopening of the tourism industry has resulted in a shortage of product.
He says they are an industry which employs over 200 people in the commercial sector and a large subsistence sector with up to 13,000 pig keepers.
However, he adds the pig industry is back thanks to strong support from the Government and banks as well as the high level of efficiency and professionalism within the industry.
Cole says a major help have been the banks who have rescheduled loan repayments, as well as providing financing for immediate needs.
He adds despite the challenges, keeping costs down and production up and continuing to provide the consumer an international quality product at affordable prices is their bottom line.
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