P5.3B set as farms bounce from ASF

The Department of Agriculture, through its National Livestock Program, has allotted a total of P5.3 billion to boost the recovery of the swine sector still reeling from the threats of African swine fever.

In an interview with reporters on Tuesday, DA-NLP director Dr. Ruth Miclat Sinaco said the majority or P4.1 billion of the budget will be earmarked for the hog repopulation program.

The remaining P1.2 billion, on the other hand, will be allocated to manage and control the spread of ASF, which has been present in the country since 2019.

“We are in the process of repopulating the industry. Somehow, in terms of budget, it will be lower in the next few years because, in the last two years, all of the budgets were for the indemnification,” Sinaco told reporters.

“We are positive that ASF is managed properly now, although we cannot eradicate the virus. We remain positive because we are doing it together,” she said.

4 to go

Sinaco also noted that from the previous 14 regions affected by the swine disease, only four have existing active ASF cases. Before the year ends, she said more areas will be reclassified as low-risk zones.

The DA official also expressed optimism about the ongoing development of a vaccine against ASF to revive the hog industry.

“We are always hopeful that a vaccine will be developed. We hope that next year or in the next two years we will have one good vaccine because everyone is coming up with it,” Sinaco said.

It can be recalled that the DA collaborated with the Universal Robina Corporation and Dr. Dachrit Nilubol of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand for the “Clinical Study for the Evaluation of ASF Vaccine in Protecting Pigs Against African Swine Fever” that ran from February to May.

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