Self-made billionaire Qin Yinglin is the world’s richest farmer with a $22bn (£17.82bn) personal fortune.
His Chinese pork empire has rocketed in the past year due to shortages and higher prices during the 2019 African swine flu outbreak and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic.
Yinglin and his wife Qian Ying, started their first pig farm in 1992 with just 22 piglets. By 2019 they had more than 10 million pigs within their Shenzhen-listed company Muyuan Foods.
As the most popular protein in China, pork is in high demand and losses in supply from culling or restrictions can cause prices to rapidly accelerate.
The outbreak of swine flu in 2019 wiped out half of China’s pigs driving up prices by 160%. This sent Muyuan Foods share prices soaring 200% and by June last year Yinglin’s wealth had doubled to $22bn.
The strength of the company is due to it maintaining ownership of a high percentage of its own farms enabling it to better control hygiene and biosecurity thus warding off diseases.