June 21, 2024

Various multiplier farms have  been set up in the Cordillera to address the problem of pork supply in the region due to the ongoing effect of African swine fever. 

Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Executive Director Cameron Odsey announced the availability of P40.3 million fund for the swine repopulation project of the agency aside from the funds of the local government units.

DA-CAR records show there are 2,163 total swine mortality where 1,132 were culled and have affected 505 farmers in 16 municipalities scattered in five provinces this year alone.

Odsey said the repopulation fund is composed of the P15-M livestock banner program, the P8-M Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) project, P15.6M from the regular funds or quick response funds, and P2M from the calamity funds.

In the SAAD project, DA has engaged selected poorer barangays under the program to go into swine production as well as encouraged existing hog raisers to continue breeding.

“We will give feeds to the existing breeders and if their sows give birth, the program will get the female hog and give it to the next set of beneficiaries. This is to ensure that the sources of piglets will continue,” he said.

In Benguet, Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan said repopulation is being done in areas without ASF cases, particularly in Kapangan, Kibungan, Bakun, and Mankayan.

Tiongan said other areas would soon follow while multiplier farms are already set up in Kibungan, Tublay, and Itogon, where sentinel pigs are produced.

She said the province is on its way to raise its pig population, as there was a decline in number from 35,000 adult pigs and piglets inventoried in 2019 to 25,000 current pig population from backyard farmers in Benguet.

However, she said there are 7,000 heads of pigs on the average coming in monthly in Baguio-Benguet from ASF-free areas that complied with necessary documents.

Hog raisers are still encouraged to practice biosecurity measures in their farms and to be wary of unscrupulous sources of piglets, especially after the country was recently placed under a state of calamity for one year due to the ASF outbreak. – Ofelia C. Empian