December 5, 2022

The Department of Agriculture in the Cordillera has allotted an initial P15 million for the purchase of feeds that will be given to swine growers who have pregnant sows as part of the pig repopulation program in the region.

DA Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey said the agency will closely monitor the sows or mother pig to ensure that they give birth to piglets that are free of the African Swine Fever.

A sow has a pregnancy period of 111 to 120 days.

“We have started looking for the pregnant female pigs or breeders that we will support by providing the feeds to the owners so that they will not have a problem feeding the animals,” he said.

Odsey said the scheme (pig food assistance) is an existing activity under the livestock program of the DA for the Special Assistance for Agricultural Development which they are expanding to include the region’s pig repopulation effort.

Under the scheme, the pig food assistance will be received by the owners of the sow on condition that upon giving birth, the owner will sell the female piglets to the DA.

Odsey said the piglets will be distributed by the agency to other members of a community who want to venture into swine production and piglet production.

He said only female piglets will be bought by the agency while the male piglets can be used as fatteners or grown by the owner for meat production or sell them to others who want to grow fatteners.

He said they earlier thought of buying piglets from commercial piglet producers but the risk of contamination during transport posed a problem.

Odsey added the agency had to devise means to commence the repopulation of piglets while simultaneously assuring that they do not introduce ASF in the Cordillera.

He said those earlier identified to have been infected with ASF have already been cleared as sentinel pigs given to hog growers have survived

Benguet, which was greatly affected by ASF, received 50 sentinel pigs in the third quarter of 2020. “They are okay, not one of the sentinel pigs got sick in a period of six months so they have resumed raising,” he said.

He said due to the current shortage in pigs, piglet prices in the region have reached P5,000 per head. – PNA