FOLLOWING the hampering of the local hog-raising industry in Benguet by the African swine fever (ASF), the Department of Agriculture – Cordillera (DA-CAR) is now seeing it fit to begin repopulating the swine in the province.
The DA-CAR has allotted some P40 million for the efforts of repopulating swine in the region, with efforts to be piloted in Benguet.
Benguet provincial veterinarian Dr. Miriam Tiongan said that the DA-CAR will begin swine repopulation in the Benguet towns of Kapangan, Kibungan, Bakun and Mankayan.
The efforts were put in place after recent tests have shown that samples from hog farms previously hit by ASF are no longer positive for the disease, making it safe to begin the repopulation efforts.
Tiongan said that the province has already taken inventory of the pig population in the four towns to identify breeders and sows that can be utilized for the repopulation project.
According to Odsey, the program has begun with the identification and tagging of pregnant sows that will then be provided support and feed in order to produce piglets that are free of the African swine fever (ASF), which has badly affected the region’s piggery industry.
“We have started looking for the pregnant female pigs or breeders that we will support by providing the feeds to the owners so that they will not have a problem feeding the animals,” he said.
Under the repopulation effort, feed for pregnant sows will be provided by the DA-CAR at no cost provided that the growers sell their female piglets from said sows to the DA-CAR once they are ready for sale.
Meanwhile, male piglets will be left to their devices to grow for sale or be butchered for meat.