The Department of Agriculture (DA) has partnered with local government units (LGUs), veterinarians, and a private firm to help prevent and control the African Swine Fever (ASF) that crippled the country’s hog industry, particularly in Luzon.
“We welcome the strong support of the Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company (UNAHCO) and the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP) that will help the DA implement a ‘Bantay ASF sa Barangay‘ and a twin hog industry re-population program,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement on Monday.
“We will vigorously pursue these challenging tasks in close cooperation and partnership with LGUs who are at the forefront of establishing stringent biosecurity measures to effectively and successfully control ASF in Luzon, prevent it from spreading, and protect the ‘green zones’ in Visayas and Mindanao,” Dar added.
The DA said the partnership will also engage in contract-buying of corn from clustered farms, which will provide farmers higher prices.
This will also improve the department’s database on hog and poultry sub-sectors.
“This is indeed a welcome development as we aim to make a firm headway in addressing the ASF, which since mid-2019 has affected the livelihood of thousands of backyard hog raisers in Luzon,” Dar said.
He underscored that the department will also fund the mass production of ASF test kits through the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), which will be distributed to LGU partners, UNAHCO, PCSP, and hog raisers.
“We at the DA cannot do it alone. We need everybody’s help, particularly the private sector, veterinarians, hog raisers and traders, and most importantly the local chief executives and their technical staff,” he added.