June 14, 2024

Benguet will need to repopulate its hogs following the depletion of pork supply due to the African swine fever (ASF) virus.
The depletion of supply resulted in soaring prices of pork meat and live hogs in the markets. The price of pork has reached P380 to P400 a kilo while live piglets also reached as high as P5,000 per head.
Benguet Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan said the municipalities targeted for repopulation are Kabayan, Atok, Sablan, Buguias, Bokod, Kapangan, Kibungan, Bakun, Mankayan, and Tublay.
La Trinidad, Itogon, and Tuba are undergoing sentinel testing phase, especially in the affected swine farms. The sentinel or experimental piglets will be tested to check the presence of the ASF virus in the hog raiser’s pigpen. 
These three towns, where bulk of the swine population come from, were heavily affected due to various reasons such as frequent trading activities and swine farms are near busy highways.
Benguet is 95 percent backyard farming with only five percent considered commercial swine raisers.
The province had close to 1,700 heads depopulated and deaths recorded last year due to the ASF virus. These occurred in 79 swine farms in 38 barangays within the eight municipalities hit by the ASF virus, reason why farmers need to heighten their biosecurity efforts in their respective farms to prevent the entry of the virus. 
Biosecurity refers to measures taken to stop the spread or introduction of harmful organisms to human, animal and plant life, such as fencing of the farms, putting of disinfectant foot bath at the entrance of the farm, non-entry of fresh pork inside the farm, and proper documentation of acquired new stocks of piglets. – Ofelia C. Empian