The PHP6-billion hog industry of Negros Occidental has remained stable amid the challenges posed by the dreaded African swine fever (ASF) and the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said in a statement on Tuesday that an improvement on business confidence in the province’s livestock sector, particularly among swine raisers, has been noted.
According to the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), Negros Occidental has maintained its status as one of the few provinces in the country considered as ASF-free.
“Such status has opened new market opportunities and allowed local hog raisers to supply live pigs to different parts of Luzon, which was affected by the disease affecting swine,” Decena said.
A report of the PVO showed that last year, hog shipment increased by 46.18 percent to 28,214 heads from only 15,185 heads in 2019.
The PVO chief said the devastating effect of ASF outbreak in Luzon resulted in huge storage of pork supply in the area and increased the price to almost double — from PHP220 per kilogram up to PHP400 per kilogram.
“This opened new market opportunities for swine raisers in the province to supply hogs to Luzon. It has enabled them to earn more because of the higher prices being offered by Luzon traders as provided under a standing memorandum of agreement for continuous trade,” Decena said.
From January to December 2020, a total of 12.65 tons of incoming assorted pork products have been seized in ports, airport, and other checkpoint areas in Negros Occidental, which has banned food items of this kind coming from Luzon and Mindanao.
Estimated market value of the confiscated items has already reached PHP5.57 million.
Decena said he is optimistic that Negros Occidental can sustain its efforts in being an ASF-free province.
“We are pushing for pro-active animal health biosecurity measures among livestock and poultry stakeholders as a measure to cope with the economic downside brought about by the pandemic,” he added.
Source: Philippines News agency