China's Ministry of Education on Wednesday asked colleges nationwide to stabilize pork prices, ensure meat quality in dining halls and offer subsidies if necessary amid rising concerns over soaring pork prices.
The ministry said colleges and universities should intensify supervision and management of pork purchasing and processing in a bid to cut the cost of student meals.
College dining halls receive subsidies in China, but ministry asked colleges to increase the subsidies if pork prices keep rising.
Students from poor households must be attended to so as to "maintain harmony and stability" both in schools and society, a ministry statement said.
The Ministry of Finance was mulling policies to subsidize impoverished students to lessen the burden inflicted by soaring pork prices, according to the education ministry.
Figures from the Ministry of Agriculture show live pigs nationwide were priced 71.3 percent higher in April over March, and pork was 29.3 percent higher, largely due to tighter supply.
In Beijing, the pork price went up more than 30 percent, while wholesale prices in Shanghai hit 16 yuan (US$2.1) per kilogram, a 10-year high, up 20 percent month-on-month.
(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2007)