Public, private funds to combat ASF hit P30B

    Incentives granted. Zero-interest loans are offered to encourage backyard raisers in ASF-free areas and green zones to go back to raising hogs. (DA photo)

    Funds allotted by public and private investments to control the spread of African swine fever (ASF) and repopulation efforts have reached P29.6 billion since the disease hit the local hog industry in 2019.

    Secretary William Dar of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said bulk of the amount of about P27 billion is for the provision of lending to commercial raisers by government financial institutions Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines which allotting P15 billion and P12 billion, respectively.

    Among the key projects are the Bantay ASF sa Barangay with an initial funding of P1.5 billion and the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion with P600 million.

    To encourage backyard and semi-commercial raisers in ASF-free areas and green zones to go back to business of raising hogs, the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council is offering zero-interest loans, payable in three to five years with an initial budget of P500 million.

    The DA said through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., an insurance coverage for hogs at P10,000 each when culled due to ASF will be provided.

    Dar said the DA will continue to provide technical assistance in risk assessment, surveillance and monitoring of ASF at the barangay level; strictly implement biosecurity; use locally-developed molecular rapid test kits; and provide  transportation assistance to hog growers and traders who will deliver and sell their hogs or pork products in Metro Manila public markets.

    Based on a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as of January 1, 2021, the country’s total swine inventory was estimated at 9.72 million heads, a 24.1 percent decline from January 1, 2020’s 12.80 million heads.

    The report noted population in backyard and commercial farms contracted by 13.3 percent and 41.8 percent, respectively. Of the total swine population, 71.1 percent were raised in backyard farms while the remaining 28.9 percent were from commercial farms.

    The top three regions in terms of inventory were Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Calabarzon which jointly provided 35.6 percent of the country’s total swine inventory
    Based on data from the PSA, as of January 28, retail prices of pork kasim is at a high of P420 per kg and a low of P330 per kg. for a prevailing price of P360 per kg while pork liempo is at a high of P430 per kg but at a low of P350 per kg and prevailing at P400 per kg.