June 14, 2024

Hog raisers in the Cordillera who were affected by the African swine fever (ASF) are slowly recovering and are repopulating swine in the region. 

DA-Cordillera Director Jennilyn Dawayan said the production of pork in the region is increasing through the various interventions that the agency is doing such as the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (Inspire) program.

The program aims to assist the region in increasing the supply of livestock and provide livelihood for livestock farmers. Most of the hog raisers in the region are backyard raisers which are affected by the lingering ASF disease.  

For 2022, DA-Cordillera has released 30 Inspire projects where 22 were completed and turned over to respective farmers groups while eight are still ongoing completion.

For 2023, a total of 26 projects were initiated with two completed, 13 ongoing construction, four ongoing procurements, and seven projects for fund transfer to the beneficiaries.

Dick Evasco of the Tabano Omang Livelihood Project Organization from Atok, Benguet said as one of the beneficiaries of the project, they strictly adhere to biosecurity measures in their farms.

He said they made a rule as a group to produce their own piglets and share it with other farmers in the municipality.

He said they have learned from previous experiences of farmers who bought piglets from outside of the province, only to be infected with ASF, which ended up infecting other hog raisers around them.

Based on the latest DA-Cordillera data, there are a total of 12 cases from January to May 20 this year with seven from Abra, two from Apayao, and three from Benguet.

The data from January to December 2023 showed there are 50 cases recorded from Ifugao with 17, Benguet with 16, Kalinga with 12, Abra with four, Apayao with one case while only Mountain Province recorded without an ASF case.  

As for other diseases being monitored by the agency, only Kalinga listed cases of avian influenza with two cases in 2023 in Tabuk and one case in Tabuk this year.

Pinukpuk also listed one case of anthrax last year and without cases listed this year.

Dawayan said they conduct strict monitoring of the animal infections and diseases in the region along with the local government units. – Ofelia C. Empian