Iloilo hog industry on path to recovery – PVO

Iloilo Provincial Veterinarian’s Office Head Dr. Darel Tabuada addresses reporters during a press conference on Wednesday, highlighting efforts to revive Iloilo’s hog industry post-ASF crisis.

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The hog industry in Iloilo province is on the path to recovery following severe setbacks caused by the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

Dr. Darel Tabuada, head of the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office (PVO), announced in a press conference on Wednesday, July 10, that both commercial and backyard farms have resumed swine-raising activities.

The sufficiency level in the province has significantly increased to 71.6 percent, a substantial improvement from the 36.37 percent recorded at the peak of the ASF outbreak.

“Right now, for the [Iloilo] province, we have 15 municipalities that have been upgraded from red to pink zones, and only 13 remain in the red zone. If we look at the swine inventory, there is a gradual increase, and conversely, the cost and prices of pork are gradually decreasing,” he stated.

The swine inventory in the province reached 106,420 heads as of July 10. The province aims to achieve full sufficiency if this upward trend continues.

Tabuada also mentioned that they are currently processing documentation for the sentinelling initiative in 14 municipalities, aiming to benefit 836 farmer-beneficiaries, which he anticipates will contribute positively to the swine inventory.

He explained that once local governments fulfill the necessary requirements, the budget for the project will be released.

The farmers involved are located across San Miguel, Barotac Viejo, New Lucena, Sta. Barbara, Mina, Dingle, Concepcion, Batad, Banate, Oton, Janiuay, Leganes, Zarraga, and Lambunao towns, with each expected to receive two piglets.

The provincial government has allocated more than P10 million for the initiative.

Tabuada further emphasized the critical role of biosecurity in protecting against ASF, noting the virus’s resilience, which can endure for up to 1,000 days in frozen meat.

“We wanted to strengthen farm biosecurity at the backyard level. We have to adjust and accept the fact that ASF is just around, so we have to protect our farms,” he stressed. ###

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