By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The country’s hog population fell within the last three months following the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), which had so far resulted to the death and culling of as much as 77,000 pigs.
A data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that as of October, the country’s total swine inventory was estimated at 13.01 million heads, falling by 0.9 percent with the previous year’s stocks of 13.13 million heads.
However, this is higher than the country’s total swine inventory as of July, which stood at 12.70 million heads.
In backyard farms, swine inventory as of October fell by 1.7 percent to 8.20 million heads from the previous year’s count of 8.34 million heads.
On the other hand, stocks in commercial farms at 4.81 million heads increased by 0.6 percent from the previous year’s level of 4.78 million heads.
Among the regions, Central Luzon recorded the highest swine inventory of 2.21 million heads. This was followed by CALABARZON and Western Visayas with stocks of 1.57 million heads and 1.27 million heads, respectively. The combined stocks of these three regions accounted for 38.8 percent of the country’s total swine inventory.
Right now, only Luzon has been hit by ASF, a fatal animal disease among hogs. It was first detected in August in Rizal province and had since then spread to other areas in Luzon, including Bulacan, Pampanga, Quezon City, Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Cavite, Pangasinan, Malabon, Caloocan, and Antipolo.
Most of the pigs that contracted the virus were also raised in backyard farms, which normally don’t follow or can’t afford to implement strict quarantine protocols.
In a notification to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Philippines’ Chief Veterinary Officer and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Ronnie Domingo said that more than 40,000 hogs in the Philippines are now at the risk of contracting ASF too.
As ASF persists, the average farmgate price of hogs upgraded for slaughter in July to September was now at ₱103.66 per kilogram, liveweight. This was 10.2 percent lower than the average farmgate price of ₱115.40 per kilogram, liveweight, in 2018.