The Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched the national hog repopulation and “Bantay sa ASF sa Barangay” twin program, with a combined public and private investments of P29.6 billion, aimed at effectively controlling the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) and reviving the domestic swine industry.
The initiative was launched in Batangas City last February 11.
“We chose Batangas because this is where the ‘Bantay ASF sa Barangay’ or ‘BABay ASF’ was born, alongside the hog repopulation program, formally called the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE),” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
The BABay ASF has initial funding of P1.5 billion (B), while INSPIRE has P600 million, said Da Undersecretary William Medrano, who oversees the DA national livestock program.
To encourage backyard and semi-commercial raisers in ASF-free areas and “green zones” to go back to the business of swine fattening and piglet production, the DA through the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) is offering zero-interest loans, payable in three to five years. The DA-ACPC has set aside an initial budget of P500 million for this financing program.
Secretary Dar also said the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) and Development Bank of the Philippines are allocating P15 billion and P12 billion, respectively, for lending to commercial raisers.
The DA through its Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) is also providing raisers insurance coverage for their hogs at P10,000 each when culled due to ASF.“I thus urge our partners — the LGUs, hog industry stakeholders, veterinary associations, universities and research institutions, farmers’ cooperatives and associations, (FCAs), and backyard and commercial hog raisers — to join us implement stringent, sustainable biosecurity measures from hereon,” Dar said. SOVEREIGNPH