The Department of Agriculture (DA) through its Regional Field Offices (RFOs) is set to pay in full all farmers whose hogs were culled due to the African Swine Fever (ASF).
Since the ASF outbreak in 2019, the DA-RFOs and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), in partnership with local government units (LGUs), have been paying P5,000 for every culled pig of backyard raisers in ASF-infected areas.
In all, the DA has received a total of P2.158-billion request to indemnify affected backyard hog raisers, of which P1.697 billion (B) has already been paid to 48,530 farmer-beneficiaries, who owned 379,420 culled hogs.
“The remaining P461M is set to be released to indemnify the remaining backyard raisers, who owned roughly 92,200 culled hogs.”
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the remaining amount of P461 million (M) is set to be released to indemnify the remaining backyard raisers, who owned roughly 92,200 culled hogs.
“We thank President Rodrigo Duterte for recently approving our request for the additional P461M that completes our ASF indemnification payments, amounting to P2.158B,” Dar said.
In addition to the indemnification, the DA has provided ASF-affected farmers financial and technical assistance through the agency’s twin program — called “Bantay ASF sa Barangay” and Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives (INSPIRE).
Both initiatives are implemented by the DA’s National Livestock Program (NLP), in partnership with the LGUs, swine raisers’ groups, the private sector, and professional veterinary associations.
“We will continue to provide farmers with needed technical and financial assistance, so they can start anew.”
“We will continue to provide farmers with needed technical and financial assistance, so they can start anew, as we strongly pursue efforts to contain, manage and control the ASF, and subsequently revive the country’s swine industry,” the agriculture chief stressed.
The agriculture head added that the Duterte administration is allotting a total of P42.8B for lending to backyard and commercial hog raisers in ASF-free areas through the Land Bank of the Philippines, worth P30B; Development Bank of the Philippines, P12B; and the DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), P800M.
Under its hog repopulation program, the DA has to date distributed 8,169 sentinel pigs to 3,061 farmer-beneficiaries in 312 ASF-free barangays.
It will also establish 10 community-based production facilities in ASF-free areas or “green zones” through clustering and consolidation, worth P50M, including a climate-controlled 300-head grower capacity building located in a bio-secured area; and 16 swine breeder multiplier farms, worth P125M, in partnership with hog farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs), LGUs, and state universities and colleges (SUCs), said DA-NLP Director Ruth Miclat.
Further, the DA is encouraging backyard and commercial hog raisers to have their animal stocks insured with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to avail of insurance coverage of up to P10,000 for fatteners and P14,500 for breeders, respectively.
Also, the DA has to date procured and distributed 134 ASF rapid PCR test kits to help affected LGUs through their provincial veterinarians in the early detection and sustained surveillance efforts on the ground, according to BAI Director Reildrin Morales.
Morales added that next year all DA Regional Animal Diagnostic Laboratories (RADDL) will have RT-PCR equipment that can be used not only to detect ASF virus, but also other animal or human disease-causing organisms. Currently, the DA-RADDL has rapid PCR (cPCR) devices for diagnosis during ASF outbreaks.
The NLP, BAI, and other DA livestock agencies that include the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), National Dairy Administration (NDA), and Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) are under the supervision of Undersecretary for Livestock Dr. William Medrano.
“We, therefore, renew our call to all backyard and commercial raisers across the country to fine-tune their respective production and biosecurity protocols, adhering to the new normal, and altogether prevent ASF infection and resurgence,” Dar concluded.