China’s success in bringing down the price of pork could hinge on how effectively central government manages a sprawling sector that still numbers millions of family farmers.

A surge in the cost of China’s staple meat has officials worried about inflation, which grew faster than expected in June. Among the measures employed to cool the market, the National Development and Reform Commission has summoned the big breeding firms to tell them they mustn’t stoke gains by restricting output or hoarding in anticipation of higher prices.

Economic planners are banking on their directives reaching enough producers to decisively influence supply. That task has become easier in recent years after a catastrophic outbreak of African swine fever in 2018 caused a huge spike in prices and forced many smaller farms out of business.