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The agriculture department is eyeing to repopulate over 300,000 breeders to recover the country’s hog volume and performance in global production before the outbreak of African Swine Fever, within the next three to four years.

In a virtual presser, Department of Agriculture-National Livestock Program (DA-NLP) director Ruth Miclat-Sonaco said the figure will be attained through the collaborative efforts of the government, lending institutions, and private sectors.

“Ayon sa ating PSA, ang nawala na inahin sa atin ay nasa 300,000, pre-ASF ‘yon. Kung gusto natin makabalik sa katulad ng performance natin bago magkaroon ng ASF sa Pilipinas which is rather wonderful kasi number eight tayo sa world production ng baboy. Kailangan natin ma-recover ‘yong three hundred plus thousand na breeders na ‘yon,” she said.

“That’s our aim, syempre the government plus ‘yong lending institutions plus the private sector, we are targeting na within the next three, four years, mari-recover natin ‘yong 300,000 na nawala natin na breeders para ‘yong production natin ay makabalik sa pre-ASF volume and baka sobra pa. Then probably, we will be number five or number four sa world production,” she added.

Sonaco said that the total expense of the NLP for the hog repopulation from 2021 to 2023 will be P27 billion.

Assistant secretary Noel Reyes also said Land Bank of the Philippines has allocated P30 billion for the hog repopulation program, while the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has P12 billion for a total of P42 billion. The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has P500 million allotted for the loan program for hog repopulation of backyard raisers in ASF-free areas.

Meanwhile, the agriculture department will assist the Farmer Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs) of regions IV-B and VI that remain as green zone areas in establishing bio secure clustered and consolidated farms with the help of the local government unit (LGU) and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

“Ang ating gagawin ay magbibigay tayo ng assistance sa kanila para makapagtayo sila ng isang magandang bahay, sabi nga natin ay climate-controlled. Mga 300 hanggang 600 na patabaing-baboy ang aalagaan nila, all in, all out. Pero kailangan na organisado rin sila, as a cooperative,” she said.

“Talagang doon tayo nakatingin ngayon, hindi natin inaalis ang smallhold farming pero nili-level up natin sila as to how they do farming. Kapag bumalik tayo sa dati nating gawi, paikot-ikot lang tayo, babalik uli si ASF. Kaya ini-encourage natin ‘yong ganitong clustering and consolidation,” she added.

Sonaco said the DA would also like to look at the tragedy brought by ASF in the hog industry as an opportunity for the government to restructure and modernize particularly the smallholder pig production. This could help improve production and be competitive in the global market, she added.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.