As the African swine fever (ASF) continues to threaten the livelihood of local hog raisers in Ilocos Norte, some residents are now shifting to raising other livestock to survive the pandemic.
In Piddig town, several residents are now engaged in cattle production as they dispose of their fattening pigs before they get infected.
In support of the backyard raisers, the municipal government led by Mayor Eddie Guillen recently distributed at least 20 cows and 77 carabaos to farmers.
In partnership with government technicians who are experts in artificial insemination, the municipal government is also upgrading the local farmers’ native cows with “Wagyu,” a Japanese cattle breed.
According to Guillen, they plan to raise around 2,000 Wagyu cows annually.
Wagyu cows cost from P30,000 to P50,000 each.
“This is another convergence project between the Piddig government, the DA, the BAI and the DENR.”
“This is another convergence project between the Piddig government, the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Animal Industry, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” he said.
In anticipation of the entry of ASF in the area and to avoid mass culling of pigs, Guillen said the municipality has allocated P900,000 from its calamity fund for the purchase of pigs of small hog raisers in the area.
“What we did was like hitting two birds with one stone.”
“What we did was like hitting two birds with one stone,” said Guillen as pork meat was added to the relief packs that they distribute to every household in these trying times.
Aside from pork meat, each household also received rice and grocery items courtesy of the municipal and barangay units.
Presently, ASF has already been detected in Dingras, Marcos, Solsona, Vintar, Carasi, Nueva Era, Banna, Laoag and San Nicolas while local authorities are closely monitoring its buffer zones or its nearby municipalities.