THE Department of Agriculture – Cordillera (DA-CAR) has identified special areas for agricultural development (SAADs) in the region to tap for swine repopulation.

DA-CAR Regional Director Cameron Odsey said that the SAADs are mainly poorer areas that could use livelihood assistance, and will be receiving piglets and feed under the “piglet dispersal” project of the SAAD program.

The SAAD program is locally funded and is currently targeting poor villages in Kalinga, Apayao, and Mountain Province.

Under the piglet dispersal project, the DA-CAR will be providing these identified SAAD areas with piglets and feedstock for the locals to raise as livelihood.

“We give piglets and feeds to allow residents to raise the animals. When it gives birth, the resident is asked to return a female piglet which we again distribute to the others who are interested in hog raising,” Odsey said.

As of September in 2021, the Cordillera region’s hog inventory saw African swine-fever (ASF) induced losses of 18 percent, or 16,921 pigs out of its total 89,466 backyard animals and 5,525 pigs grown in commercial pens. This caused hog prices to ramp up to P25,000 per medium-sized hog.

As a response to ASF hog losses, the DA-CAR said that the swine repopulation program in the region will be using locally-raised hogs, which will take longer to repopulate the region but have less risk of bringing in ASF from outside the province.