October 22, 2021

ASF cases down to 147 in 24 villages

MANILA – Cases of the African swine fever (ASF) are declining, according to data from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

ASF cases are down to just 24 barangays in 16 cities and municipalities.

“The incidence of ASF is waning as blood samples of suspected hogs that tested positive are down to 147, as of August 2021,” DA Secretary William Dar said in a statement on Monday.

The DA’s hog repopulation and Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABay ASF) programs in partnership with local government units, hog raisers, and the private sector are gradually boosting the local swine industry toward recovery.

Data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) showed that since mid-2019, the ASF virus has affected hog farms in 2,981 villages and 579 cities and municipalities, mostly in Luzon.

BAI Director Reildrin Morales said cases peaked in August 2020, with 1,773 positive reports.

“To date, 484 cities and municipalities have no reported ASF cases for at least three months, of which 74 have no reported cases for three to six months, and 410 have no cases for more than six months,” Morales added.

Dar said the report on vaccine testing against ASF in 10 commercial hog farms in Luzon will be announced by the end of the month.

“All the more, we will strongly implement the BABay ASF program, in tandem with the hog repopulation, which is also called Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE),” Dar said.

INSPIRE, with an initial funding of PHP872 million, consists of calibrated repopulation, worth PHP400 million; establishment of multiplier farms, PHP200 million; and hog insurance premium subsidy, PHP272 million.

The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), on the other hand, has set aside PHP500 million for lending to backyard raisers and micro and small enterprises (MSEs) under its Agri-Negosyo (ANYO) loan program.

As of July 30, 2021, the ACPC has lent PHP119.5 million to 1,274 small hog farmers and MSEs.

Dar said ACPC will infuse an additional PHP300 million for lending to hog raisers in ASF-free areas or green zones.

Further, the DA-ACPC credit program is greatly boosted by the Land Bank of the Philippines, which opened the Special Window and Interim Support to Nurture Hog Enterprises lending program worth PHP30 billion. (PNA)

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