The Ministry of Agriculture (DA) will set aside P400 million for the returning pig population in response to the impact of African swine fever (ASF).
In a virtual briefing on Thursday, Rildrin Morales, director general of the DA’s National Meat Inspection Service, said that as part of the program known as PIGR and National Expansion Initiatives, the agency will distribute mother pigs as well as feeds to areas now evacuated from the ASF.
“Through Inspire, we will distribute mother pigs to entities in areas already evacuated from ASF to increase our pork supply in the market. We will also provide the feeding to ensure pigs are not issued on the ship,” he said in the Filipino, adding that they will announce a list of areas to benefit in the coming weeks.
The initiative will be implemented under the National Animal Welfare Program of the DA (NLP).
Inspite intends to expedite the recovery of the pig sector and ensure the availability, accessibility and possible price of pig and pig products.
Agriculture Minister William Darr has a standing order on Morales, who will take over as officer in charge of the Animal Industry Bureau on February 7, 2021, to step up the fight against the negative effects of the ASF in the country.
Dar planned the intervention for the eve of the establishment of a pig multiplication farm using clusters or a village-level approach consisting of 20 pig farmers each.
The head of agriculture said that through its animal program, the DA will provide each member with five piglets each, 20 bags of food for animals and biologists. In each cluster with 20 members there will be a total of 100 piglets raised.
Dar said the cluster strategy will initially be implemented in areas affected by the ASF as part of the improved stimulus package for pig production.
“This is to boost economic activity and revenue in the animal industry, especially in certain parts of central Luzon and Calverzon, where ASF was prevalent last year,” Darr said.
Meanwhile, Morales noted that the low supply of pork and pork products is not due to the increase in ASF cases.
“Some pig breeders have reduced the number of pigs they are supposed to raise to prevent business loss with the threat of ASF,” he added.
He also said they are going to increase shipments of pork and pork products to Luzon to meet demand.
“Luzon is the most needed island of pork. 19,937.44 tons (MT) of our inventory is in Luzon. We will increase shipments from Vizaya and Mindanao,” Morales said.
Based on data from December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021 from the DA’s frozen pork inventory report, the total inventory of the visage was 5,691 MT and 149.54 MT in Mindanao. Luzon has a highly frozen pork stock for domestic data (3,500.71 MT) and imported data (16,436.73 MT).