Gov’t starts P29.6-B hog repopulation program
The Department of Agriculture on Friday launched in Batangas a P29.6-billion program intended to regain hog population that was lost to the African swine fever (ASF) as well as contain the spread of the sickness.
Dubbed “Bantay sa ASF sa Barangay” or BABay ASF, the initiative to rein in the sickness is being implemented in partnership with local government units and the private sector as well as groups of veterinarians and hog raisers.
“We chose Batangas because this is where the [program to control the spread of ASF] was born alongside the hog repopulation program, formally called the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion or Inspire,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement.
Inspire has three components—swine livelihood enterprise, establishment of breeder multiplier farms, and intensive and modernized production. Dar said that, to encourage backyard and semicommercial hog raisers in ASF-free areas and “green zones” to go back to business, the Department of Agriculture through the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) was offering zero-interest loans, payable in three to five years. The ACPC has set aside an initial budget of P500 million for the financing program.
Also, Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines are allotting P15 billion and P12 billion, respectively, for lending to commercial raisers.
Further, Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. is providing hog raisers insurance coverage at P10,000 per hog if the animals were culled due to ASF.
“This is the new and stronger platform to eradicate ASF,” Dar said. “With a united front, we believe we could succeed this time in effectively managing and controlling ASF.” INQ
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