China on Wednesday announced a series of measures aimed at boosting the country's supply of pigs as it tries to bring down the price of pork, which is contributing to soaring inflation.
In a meeting presided by Premier Wen Jiabao, the State Council China's cabinet said it would invest 2.5 billion yuan ($390 million) in large pig farms this year, according to a statement posted on the government website.
Farmers will also receive a subsidy of 100 yuan for every sow they raise, and under certain circumstances, they will be paid money for pigs that die or have to be killed, it added.
The measures aim to encourage farmers to raise pigs. They come as the price of pork soars in China where the meat is extremely popular among all levels of society adding to fears about the politically sensitive inflation rate.
"Recently, the price of pork has risen quite a lot, and this has impacted people's lives and led to (other) price hikes," the statement said.
Economists have warned that the rise in pork prices could contribute to delaying a peak in food price inflation, and keep it elevated for longer.
China has been struggling to tame its inflation despite restricting the amount of money banks can lend on numerous occasions and hiking interest rates five times since October.
In June, the country's consumer price index rose 6.4 percent the highest level in three years further fuelling concern among policymakers anxious about inflation's potential to trigger social unrest.