QUEZON CITY — The Department of Agriculture said it has funds to help small backyard raisers whose hogs were culled due to African Swine Fever (ASF) infection.
“The headline of one major newspaper was malicious and misleading. It is far from the truth,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
“It’s clear in the story that we have money. But we have to understand that paying each raiser the actual cost of culled pigs would mean benefiting only a few hundred raisers, l and leaving out others,” the DA chief said.
With an initial reported culled pigs of 7,416, the DA would spend an initial P22.25 million, at an average assistance of P3,000 per head, regardless of weight and age.
Further, the DA through the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) is also giving a zero-interest, no-collateral loan worth P30,000 per ASF-stricken hog raiser, which was also mentioned in the story, thus clearly contradicting the headline.
The DA-ACPC is allotting an initial P60 million to benefit 2,000 small backyard raisers in 11 ASF-affected barangays in Rizal, Bulacan and Quezon City.
“With this capital to tide them over, affected swine raisers can engage in any appropriate livelihood venture like broiler, layer and goat raising, and vegetable production,” Dar said.
The DA through its Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and regional field office, in partnership with concerned local government units, led the culling of hogs within the one-in confirmed ASF-affected area within the one-kilometer quarantine zone.
“We wish to seek the support of the media to be more discerning and responsible in their reportage of this unfortunate episode, besetting our swine industry, where about two-thirds comes from small backyard raisers,” the DA chief concluded. (DA)