CEBU, Philippines – The Cebu City government is expanding its Swine Dispersal Program (SDP) as it sees a “competitive advantage” over provinces affected by cases of African swine fever (ASF).
This was done after the city council adopted a resolution filed by City Councilor Pastor “Jun” Alcover Jr on Thursday, December 1, requesting the Cebu City Agriculture Department to provide commercial breeds rather than just native swine to local breeders.
“This is an opportunity because we are in the green zone or area unaffected by ASF. This means that our local swine industry can supply pigs to other places,” Alcover said in Cebuano during his privilege speech.
The city councilor quoted the latest numbers presented by the Bureau of Animal Industry that tallied 9 regions, 17 provinces, 26 municipalities, and 63 barangays affected by ASF.
In Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental, the price of pork products has slightly increased due to a ban on the transport of Zamboanga Peninsula-bred hogs.
Swine Dispersal Program
“The Swine Dispersal Program aims to improve the hog-raising capacity of local swine breeders,” City Agriculturist Joelito Baclayon told Rappler.
The program, implemented in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, involves providing quality swine stocks to local farmers who are trained to properly raise and sell live hogs and pork meat.
Baclayon said that at least three pigs are given to a beneficiary farmer to raise. The beneficiary would then return seven pigs and keep any excess. This process is repeated to ensure that more farmers are able to avail of the program.
According to the city agriculturist, around 1,500 farmers and breeders have benefited from the SDP. He added that Cebu City currently has an estimated 31,000 swines.
“We are soon planning to set up a research center with a semen bank to make distributions more convenient and coordinated,” Baclayon said.
Local swine bans
The Cebu provincial government also implemented a similar ban on the transport of swine. On October 13, Iloilo’s provincial veterinarian reported a suspected case of ASF.
Governor Gwen Garcia issued Executive Order No. 42 right after, temporarily banning the entry of live hogs, boar semen, pork, and pork-related products originating from Iloilo and Panay Island into the Province of Cebu.
Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama later adopted Garcia’s executive order.
As of this writing, Baclayon said that Cebu Island is still ASF-free. – Rappler.com