Philippine livestock production to rise despite El Niño, says DA

Agriculture Undersecretary for Livestock Deogracias Victor Savellano (MANILA BULLETIN PHOTO/ JEL SANTOS)

The livestock production in the Philippines is expected to increase despite the devastation brought about by the El Niño phenomenon that led to the death of some livestock across the country.

In an ambush interview, DA Undersecretary for Livestock Deogracias Victor Savellano said the dry spell will not cause significant loss in the livestock industry.

“Kami positive kami na tataas [ang livestock production] kasi may programa tayong inimplement, eh, then ‘yung mga nakita naming challenges noon binibigyan namin ng solusyon (We are positive that the livestock production will increase because we have a program that we implemented, and the challenges we observed before, we are now providing solutions for),” he said when asked about the impact of the phenomenon to the domestic livestock.

“I’m very sure that it will go up,” he added.

Savellano said the program they implemented is “not just about stocks.”

He noted that they also took into account biologics, medicines, food, and water sources among others.

“May mga standards kaming sinusunod na dun then yung monitoring system namin before after bidding then plus monitoring nakikita namin na talagang tama yung naibibigay sa ating mga magsasaka (We follow standards there, and our monitoring system, before and after bidding, along with ongoing monitoring, shows that what we provide to our farmers is indeed correct),” the DA official stated.

The agriculture department, he said, also rolled out additional stocks to farmers.

“Ang nagpapatal lang yung proseso ng gobyerno na ang daming documents na kailangan then kailangan din pag-aralan. Iyong mga policy and guidelines kailangan ayusin, pag-usapan pero ‘yun nga ongoing na yung processing ng mga papers once na okay na then ro-roll out na kami (It's just the government process that delays it, with so many documents needed and requiring study. The policies and guidelines need to be sorted out and discussed, but once the processing of the papers is ongoing and everything is okay, then we'll roll out),” Savellano lamented.

“We will be distributing ‘yung mga para sa multiplier, nucleus, then may mga individual din na programs (We will be distributing those for the multiplier, nucleus, and there are also individual programs,” he continued.

However, he admitted that the lack of feed and forage due to El Niño would hinder the increase in the country’s livestock production.

Per the recent data of the DA, the damage caused by the El Niño to livestock and poultry has reached  P7.93 million.

The data of the agency showed that a total of 391 livestock and poultry died due to the extreme heat.

On May 2, the DA said El Niño damage to agriculture has swelled to P5.90 billion, affecting 113,585 farmers and fisherfolk.

The 12 regions affected are: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao Region, and Soccsksargen.

The agency said it has provided a total of P2.18 billion in interventions for devastated farmers and fisherfolk.