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DA Steps Up Hog Industry Measures

by 5m Editor
1 September 2008, at 11:00am

THE PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is stepping up the implementation of several measures for the hog industry that include feed subsidies and a stock dispersal program, to help the sector recover from a growth slump in the first semester, in step with President Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) goal to energize the farm sector and ensure food sufficiency.

“We have a stock dispersal program that is being implemented right now, but not yet fully, so we are going to do it within the next month,“ Yap said. “We also have a feed subsidy program to grow hogs by at least an additional 10 kilos to 15 kilos to increase output from the national average of only 77 kilograms.“

Improving the country’s rice self-sufficiency level and bringing food on the table of every Filipino family have been President Arroyo’s commitments since her first SONA in 2001.

Through the DA, President Arroyo has pumped greater public investments into the various farm subsectors in pursuit of her SONA commitments to create more jobs and livelihood opportunities in the countryside and bring food on the table of every Filipino family.

As President Arroyo made good on her SONA pledges with her continued record investments in DA programs to boost productivity, the agriculture sector expanded by a high 4.7% in the first semester of 2008 as against 3.74% in the same period last year.

The crops subsector was the chief growth driver, with palay yields growing by 5.84% to 7.12 million metric tons and corn output by 19.62% to 3.292 million MT. Sugarcane led the high-value commercial crops with double-digit growth rates at 32.19%, followed by bananas, 20.85%; and pineapples, 11.94%.

However, the livestock subsector contracted 3.33% in the first semester of 2008, with hog production suffering a decline of 4.33% during the period owing to a drop in the number of animals slaughtered in abattoirs, result of swine diseases outbreak that had negatively affected production in Central Luzon.

As part of its measures to assist the hog growers, Yap said that he has also ordered BAI and the National Meat Inspection Service to finalize plans to complement the meat inspection laboratories set up in General Santos City and Polomolok in South Cotabato.

At the recently held 17th Hog Farmers National Convention, BAI Director Dave Catbagan, speaking on behalf of Yap, said the subsidy program for the hog industry will be carried out Central Luzon and Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon), which will involve assisting backyard raisers acquire healthy piglets and their required animal feeds.

The DA will also include in its rehabilitation package for the livestock sector animal health programs and laboratory services, Catbagan had said.

Catbagan said the DA is now undertaking a massive vaccination program, worth P30 million, against possible Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PPRS) and other emerging swine diseases focusing on backyard population in Central Luzon.

Catbagan noted that despite its temporary setbacks, a bright future lies ahead for the Philippine hog industry, as the Philippines will soon ship pork cuts to Singapore after complying with the island-state’s stringent requirements, including an assurance that these pork items are free from banned drugs and veterinary drug residues.

According to Catbagan, the Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority recently accredited the Matutum Meat Packing Corporation in Polomok, South Cotabato as the sole processor of pork exports to that country.

5m Editor