Hogs in one of the commercial farms in the country Screenshot from Department of Agriculture’s file video | File photo

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it will assist hog growers repopulate stocks in areas affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) in a move to revive the industry in the country.

Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan said in a virtual presser on Thursday that the initiative is part of the “Whole-of-Nation” approach of the department to strengthen local production and hog industry for the long term.

DA is allotting P60 million for the repopulation program of hog industry.

“We will be assisting them on getting the sources like piglets or semen for that matter. The insurance should be provided so that the confidence level naman nila, huwag naman sana pero may risk factor at kapag nangyari ang risk na ‘yon ay maita-transfer natin ang risk sa insurance,” Cayanan said.

He added that since the ASF started in the Philippines, a DA crisis management team conducted a mapping where areas are color coded with red to green indicating affected and free zones.

Expansion will be done in ASF free areas while repopulation will be implemented in areas which have improved.

“Kung mapapansin nyo noong nagsimula itong what we call ASF saga, meron tayong crisis management team. Inumpisahan natin sa map ang color-coding. Immediately, makikita niyo sa map, kapag green, ibig sabihin hindi tinamaan ay pwede mag-expand ‘yan. Ang repopulation ay yong mga tinamaan. But they could only repopulate if yong color nila ay nagbago na from red to a lighter color going to green,” he said.

The region of MIMAROPA that remains ASF free is one of the six regions delivering hogs to Metro Manila with 500 hogs per day, based on the record of DA. Others are Region I with 926 hogs per day, CALABARZON with 2,690 hogs per day, VI with 429 hogs per day, X with 1,429 hogs per day and XII with 1,429 hogs per day.

“Iba’t ibang level, ang backyard farmers natin who before the pandemic composed of the 65 percent of our hog population. Of course, yon din naman constitutional big commercial grower can also avail. Different ang provision natin sa kanila, yong iba ay direct resources na pwede natin ipamigay, may indemnification kapag may nangyari sa kanila na hindi inaasahan. Doon sa malalaki ay tutulungan natin sila to access credit na mababa naman ang interest natin,” he said.

“The keyword there is they properly first, clean, second [is] disinfect, third sila ay nag-i-exercise ng biosecurity measure and lastly, sinubukan nila gamitin yong sentinel. Ang sentinel ay isang scientific way na magpapakita na kapag naglagay ka ng baboy doon, na-survive niya,” he 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.