Reviving the swine industry
The price of pork has increased by 50 percent due to low supply on account of the African swine fever (ASF) virus that is wiping out the hog industry.
As a consequence, the national government has allowed importation of pork even beyond what is needed from 54,000 metric tons (MT) minimum access volume to 350,000 MT and reduced the tariff through Executive Order 128-2021 from 30 percent to five percent only.
This move will kill the local pig enterprises, deprive the government of around four billion pesos in revenues, and will lead to closure of hog farms and spread of the ASF.
The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera has announced it will assist hog raisers by giving feeds to repopulate the pig industry using existing pigs of farmers that survived but this would not prosper if the disease is not contained.
The basic consideration in successful production undertakings is the health of the stock whether they be animals or plants.
The Benguet State University and several state colleges and universities throughout the country should spearhead the establishment of a swine breeding station and produce healthy weanlings that farmers could raise.
These schools have the capabilities, facilities, and resources to undertake this venture for they have animal science and veterinary medicine in their curriculum to ensure availability of certified pigs to fatten as was done when I was a student at BSU together with our instructor.
The pig pens of farmers must always be sanitized to have a profitable business. — PERCIVAL B. ALIPIT, Baguio City