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SOCCSKARSARGEN’S HOG INDUSTRY STILL SAFE, FREE FROM ASF – DAR

Soccsksargen and the area’s hog industry is still considered safe and free from the disease.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar has assured that necessary prevention and control measures are in place to prevent the spread of the African swine fever (ASF) in other areas in Mindanao, especially in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

Soccsksargen comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, and Kidapawan.

Dar said personnel from the Department of Agriculture (DA) are working closely with local government units and concerned stakeholders to effectively contain the ASF outbreak in Don Marcelino town and other affected areas in Davao Occidental.

“The industry was not affected as a whole because the production remains substantial.”

The agriculture chief also confirmed that 11 of the 42 hogs culled and buried in Koronadal City have tested positive for the disease but declared that the virus has not spread and was already contained.

The agriculture head also said that there were no other recorded ASF cases in Soccsksargen and the area’s hog industry is still considered safe and free from the disease.

“The industry was not affected as a whole because the production remains substantial,” he said on the sidelines of the South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos Area Development Project board meeting in General Santos City.

The city and South Cotabato province are considered as the center of the hog industry in the region, the country’s third top hog producer.

“The ASF outbreak remains concentrated in Davao Occidental.”

The region’s hog inventory was estimated at more than 816,000 heads as of the end of 2019, up from the 764,853 heads recorded in 2018.

Dar also said the ASF outbreak remains concentrated in Davao Occidental despite the confirmation of cases in other areas, including Koronadal City which is the administrative seat and the center of Soccsksargen.

Dar said the disease-affected hogs were traced to have come from Don Marcelino town, sold to traders from Sulop, Davao del Sur and eventually purchased by a businessman from Koronadal City.

“We visited Koronadal City purposely to ascertain the problem and we established that it was properly managed and the spread of the virus was controlled and contained,” he said.

Dar added that the government would provide affected growers and traders with P5,000 in compensation for each of the culled hogs that were hit by the ASF outbreak. 

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