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DA, PRIVATE SECTOR TO PRODUCE SWINE BREEDERS

In its continuing efforts to revive the country’s hog industry gravely affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF), the Duterte administration through the Department of Agriculture (DA) is partnering with the private sector to produce needed swine breeders to jumpstart and sustain the government’s hog repopulation program.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar recently led the groundbreaking of a 5,000-sow level breeder nucleus farm, of JG Agroventures, Inc. and Pig Improvement Company (PIC), in Barangay Sta. Rita, Quezon, Nueva Ecija.

Once operational, the state-of-the-art facility will be stocked with PIC great grandparent (GGP) breeders, whose offsprings or grandparent (GP) piglets will be sold and distributed to commercial and clustered backyard swine raisers in Nueva Ecija and the rest of Luzon.

“We are initially committing P80 million for this laudable project that will help us speed up our hog repopulation efforts under the DA’s Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) program,” Dar said.

The agriculture chief instructed the DA’s National Livestock Program (NLP), headed by Dr. Ruth Sonaco, to draft a memorandum of agreement to formalize the partnership with JG Agroventures and PIC.

To bankroll the project, JG has applied for a P2.5-B loan with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank).

“We envision JG Agroventures to supply the DA initially with 1,000 GP quality breeders for every farrowing.”

“We envision JG Agroventures to supply the DA initially with 1,000 GP quality breeders for every farrowing, which we will distribute to commercial and clustered backyard swine raisers, and farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) participating in our INSPIRE program,” the agriculture head explained.

“We thank JG for taking the initiative and investing in a big way in this breeder farm,” he added.

Myrna Galicia of JG Agroventures thanked the DA for continuously supporting the livestock sector, and forging partnerships that will provide livelihood and revive hog industry.

PIC’s Vino Borromeo said that the private sector plays a critical role in the DA’s initiatives to revive the swine industry.

“Through this collaboration, we can provide livelihood, food security, and eventually improve the economy.”

“Tuwang-tuwa kami na may ganitong opportunity. Through this collaboration, we can provide livelihood, food security, and eventually improve the economy. Together, let us turn the pig industry into a globally competitive sector, by increasing production and quality,” Borromeo said.

Dar expressed his appreciation to JG, PIC and other private groups that are actively taking part in government’s agriculture and livestock projects.

“Let’s continue our united efforts to help the country’s hog industry get back on its feet, and contribute again to building a strong, resilient agriculture sector,” he said.

Several major agribusiness firms are also partnering with the DA to revive the swine industry, like the Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company (UNAHCO) and Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines, Corp. (CP Foods). The latter has invested in a P500-million swine breeder farm in Isabela, and has committed to produce an additional 600,000 fatteners this year. It also plans to buy at least 300,000 metric tons (MT) of yellow corn from farmers for its feedmill business.

“This year, the DA has allotted P4.1 B to implement the “Bantay ASF sa Barangay” and hog repopulation program, that entails establishment of swine breeder and multiplier farms,” Sonaco explained.

Last year, thru Bayanihan II, the DA-NLP financed and established 14 multiplier farms, that are operated and managed by the LGUs, state universities and colleges (SUCs) and FCAs, two of which — the Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC) and Zamboanga hog raisers’ cooperative — received P5-M each, and will soon distribute swine breeders to their members.

“The DA-NLP also put up community-based swine production and expansion thru clustering and consolidation, providing P5-M grant each to hog raisers’ groups and FCAs in ASF green zones in Mindoro, Aklan, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Zamboanga del Sur and South Cotabato,” she added.

Once they have completed their respective biosecured facilities, these will be stocked with piglets for fattening in July and ready to be sold in November.

By 2023, the DA targets to produce 440,563 breeders and 10.5 million finishers under the INSPIRE program, in partnership with commercial and clustered backyard hog raisers, LGUs, and SUCs.

To help bankroll the hog repopulation program, the DA through its Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has allotted P800M for lending to backyard and semi-commercial raisers in ASF green zones. Individual borrowers can avail of P300,000 up to P3M, and small enterprises and FCAs, up to P15M. The loan has zero interest, and payable up to five years.

In addition, LandBank and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) have allotted P30B and P12B, respectively, for lending to commercial raisers in ASF-free areas.

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