August 24, 2022

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Agriculture lobby says full recovery from swine fever outbreak possible before 2024

AN AGRICULTURE lobby group said it is possible for the Philippines to recover from the African Swine Fever (ASF) crisis before 2024, the year set for the hog industry’s re-emergence.

“We think that we can recover (from ASF) even earlier than expected… we have another meeting with the President soon. We hope to fix our first border inspection control. We can put this up in the first quarter of 2023,” Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura President Rosendo O. So said in an interview on People’s Television Network.

In 2019, the Philippines detected its first case of ASF.

The Bureau of Animal Industry estimates that active ASF cases are now confined to five regions, down from 14 previously.

As of Aug. 4, the remaining live cases were located in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, the Eastern Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula, and Soccsksargen.

According to Mr. So, the private sector has presented a plan to improve first border inspection facilities to minimize the possibility of ASF entering from overseas.

“This means all frozen commodities will go to one (facility)… There (will be an inspection) before they are released to the public. Right now, we don’t have that first border facility,” he said.

Mr. So said the industry and the Department of Agriculture (DA) have met with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to discuss adjustments to the retail price of pork and other commodities.

“Kasim (pork shoulder) should be around P260-P280, while liempo (pork belly) should be around P300,” he said.

Mr. So said that there must be communication between the government and markets in order to ensure compliance when suggested retail prices are set.

“Some markets have followed but others haven’t. We hope the DA can fix this so all markets are compliant (on price) so we can transmit to consumers the farmgate price (of goods),” he said. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson