A very pig problem? DA says local hog production will be short for whole year

Published March 4, 2021, 8:15 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Department of Agriculture (DA) Asec. Noel Reyes admitted Thursday, March 4 that local hog production won’t be able to meet the country’s demand for the entire year.

(PIXABAY / FILE PHOTO)

“We’re saying kulang pa po ang supply at ang taya namin nasa 400,000 metric tons (MTs) po sa kabuuan…na taong 2021 (We’re saying that we’re still short in supply and we estimate that it would be 400,000 MTs for the year 2021),” he told reporters during a virtual press briefing.

“Hindi po natin maihahabol yung production ngayon. Within the year hindi kayang punuan yung kakulangan sa baboy (The production won’t be able to catch up. We won’t be able to fill the pork supply shortage within the year),” underscored Reyes, who serves as agency spokesman.

Last month, the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) Advisory Council recommended that pork imports be increased to about 400,000 MTs in 2021 to address the pork supply shortage.

While the situation is improving, the local hog industry had been ravaged by the African swine flu (ASF) this year. The DA said that 442,402 hogs have been culled as part of its management with ASF.

Most of the hogs culled were from Bulacan, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija.

National Livestock Program Dir. Ruth Miclat-Sonaco said during the same online briefing that the country had lost over 388,000 “breeders”, or the pigs that are raised to give birth to “finishers”. Is it the finishers that end up in the market as pork, which the public consumes.

Reyes reckoned that one breeder is equivalent to “10 or even 20” individual pigs. “Three to six million ang babawiin natin (We need to get back three to six million pigs),” he said.

Reyes and Sonaco said the government has already launched a hog repopulation program dubbed “Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion” or INSPIRE in efforts to solve supply problems.

The program’s target is to have a total of 25.5 million finishers and 4.5 million breeders covered with insurance from 2021 to 2023.

 
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