Filipinos shift to chicken and beef as African swine fever spreads

MANILA, Philippines – The African swine fever (ASF) scare has led to consumers eating more chicken and beef, even though the disease does not harm humans.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, November 5, National Statistician Dennis Mapa said inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) inched up to 1.3% in October from September's 0.9% due to faster annual increases for chicken due to higher demand. Fruits and vegetables also registered upticks.

National headline inflation eased to a 3-year low of 0.8% in October. (READ: What inflation means for you)

Meanwhile, Central Luzon registered the highest inflation rate for that month at 2.3% due to higher prices of chicken, beef, fish, and egg.

The region was the first to report ASF cases. (READ: Pork from China caused African swine fever outbreak in Philippines)

So far, the Department of Agriculture has identified Rizal, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, and Quezon City in Metro Manila as areas with ASF.

Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro said the government is on the lookout for the upside risks brought about by ASF.

"The livestock industry in the said ASF-stricken areas, which accounts for 21.7% of the country's total hog production last year, remains at high risk. The government and private companies must collaborate to manage, contain, and control the spread of the disease," she said.

Navarro added that meat processing plants need to be more stringent in their biosecurity measures and checkpoints must be expanded in key gateways to contain ASF. – Rappler.com

 

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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