The Department of Agriculture (DA) has released a PHP20-million grant to a farmer’s multi-purpose cooperative in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte to help speed up the recovery of hog raisers affected by the African swine fever (ASF). Teresita Castro, chairperson of the Baggak Multi-purpose Cooperative, said in an interview on Thursday that they were among the beneficiaries of the DA’s
Integrated National Swine Production Initiative Recovery Expansion (INSPIRE) program.

INSPIRE focuses on calibrated hog repopulation, the establishment of swine farms and facilities, and ensuring easy access to insurance and credit services for hog farmers to improve swine production and ensure the sufficiency of pork and pork products in the province. “We are so happy and thankful for this opportunity to help our hog raisers who were severely affected by ASF,” said
Castro, adding that they will also act as a “big brother” in helping another farmer’s group, the Sitio Matikas-Maumel San Juan Pasuquin Farmer ’s Association, on their hog repopulation program.

Part of the three-year program is the provision of mixed interventions to jumpstart and revive the swine industry by clustering and consolidating strategies, specifically among small hog raisers to facilitate technical support services and biosecurity measures among others. To date, hog raisers in the province are gradually recovering from the ASF virus through various government support.
Recently, at least 60 swine raisers from the municipality of Marcos and the city of Batac were given a total of 90 weaner pigs as part of the repopulation program of the DA for ASFaffected livestock farmers through the sentinelling protocol.

This protocol determines whether a virus or disease is still present in a location using a science-based approach. As a result, the DA is dispersing weaner pigs in towns where there have been no
documented cases of ASF for at least 90 days. Swine raisers were also provided with 30 bags of pre-starter, 90 bags of starter, and 90 bags of starter feeds. While making rounds in various parts of the province, provincial veterinarian Loida Valenzuela reminded farmers to strictly practice biosecurity
measures, as their committed participation in these procedures is crucial to the management of ASF.

“Please observe biosecurity measures always. Not only on the putting up of fences, disinfectants, nets, the use of separate footwear within the pig pens, and the recording of visitors but also be careful of letting people inside to visit your farm,” said Valenzuela. The Provincial Veterinary
Office said that based on surveillance operations, people from the outside, mostly from the private sector, bring in the virus after visiting farms in other areas. Valenzuela encouraged farmers to immediately report any suspected ASF case for early prevention and proper provision of assistance.


Amianan Balita Ngayon