A Thai-owned agri-industrial and food conglomerate has joined the Philippine government in its mission to revive the country’s swine industry, which had been adversely affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) crisis.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar on Wedesday, May 26, disclosed that Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corporation (CPFPC) has linked up with the agency and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for the implementation of the Swine Rehabilitation, Repopulation and Recovery Credit or Swine R3 program, which will finance “bio-secured” farm projects.
The three organizations signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) last May 20 in Gerona, Tarlac.
“This is a welcome development for us at the DA as we pursue joint efforts to control ASF and repopulate ASF-free areas. With CPFPC’s technological expertise in modern bio-secured farms and DBP’s support in providing credit assistance to eligible public and private institutions, we will be able to level up our efforts in reviving the industry,” Dar said.
The secretary said their partnership with the foreign-owned firm will be key in the recovery efforts as “they have the technologies and the modern systems in managing ASF, especially when it comes to biosecurity measures.”
“I hope the CPFPC can expand their operations in regions near the NCR, where the country’s main pork market is,” he added.
For his part, CPFPC Vice Chairman Khun Sakol Cheewakoset said the pact will allow them to share their knowledge in helping boost a sustainable business climate not only for their company, but also for the Filipino farmer-partners.
“Our state-of-the-art bio-secured farms enable us to be resilient from ASF, thus making our business a success. Moving forward, this will also open export opportunities for the Philippines. We assure and commit to you our continuous support in investing in the Philippines,” Cheewakoset said.
Meanwhile, DBP President and CEO Emmanuel Herbosa said through the pact, the national government will be able to elevate and expedite its swine repopulation and rehabilitation initiatives, which will allow the country to regain its pre-ASF status.
“Through this program, we hope to assist in the recovery of our hog industry and eventually contribute to the country’s food security,” Herbosa said.
The Swine R3 credit program borrowers include duly-registered private enterprises and local government units (LGUs). The loan shall be used for the construction of bio-secured swine farms, and acquisition of farm machineries and equipment.
Eligible projects include swine breeder farms, swine wean-to-finish farms, and consolidated swine facility projects.