BACOLOD CITY – A possible shortage in the supply of pork in Negros Occidental is now being entertained, as demand increases with the “Ber months” having begun.
Because of the African Swine Fever and hog cholera diseases that hit the swine industry, Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz yesterday said that they are anticipating a shortage of swine supply, noting an increase in the prices of pork to as much as P300 per kilo.
Records of the Provincial Veterinary Office indicated that hog fatalities reached 17,801, representing 9.96 percent of the 164,334 total hog population of Negros Occidental.
Diaz also reported that the province hog industry incurred losses amounting to almost P200 million after hog cholera and ASF struck 3,536 hog raisers, affecting 153 barangays in 20 towns and cities of Negros Occidental.
He reported that backyard raisers were the hardest hit by swine diseases, as commercial hog raisers have continued producing hogs.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Placeda Lemana reported earlier that hog shipments from Negros Occidental to other areas of the country dropped significantly by almost 70 percent last month.
Lemana however said that Negros Occidental has continued to experience zero hog mortalities for more a month.
Diaz said that they are in the process of documenting areas in the province affected by swine diseases.
Instead of giving indemnification funds to affected hog raisers, Diaz said they are considering to use it as a rehabilitation fund, pending the approval of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Lemana disclosed that they are formulating guidelines and protocols for local government units to adopt for the start of the hog sentineling program, a prelude to the hog repopulation.
Before the sentineling program can begin, backyard hog raisers must be ready for the ASF recovery program by cleaning and disinfecting the areas where the sentinel hogs would be placed, she added.
Diaz explained that it will be up to the farmers to raise “sentinel” piglets in their respective areas. If it survives for a period of time, the provincial government will provide them with swine for breeding, as well as P2,000 financial assistance as startup capital.
Those who may comply with the requirements will be given priority in the swine dispersal program, he added. (Gilbert Bayoran via tvds photo by tvds)