Hog raisers welcome govt’s P1B ASF fund

THE Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative (CeViPPCo) has welcomed the government’s intervention in the form of a P1 billion cold storage facility to help pig farmers amid the African swine fever (ASF) scare.

Rolando Tambago, president of CeViPPCo, said they are grateful for the assistance since it would help backyard pig farmers to preserve the pork while demand is not yet there.

“It’s a long-term solution for the industry and we are happy with the decision of the President,” Tambago said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, approved the Department of Agriculture’s proposal to use the Office of the President’s contingent fund worth P1 billion to help hog raisers affected by the ASF outbreak in the country and establish cold storage areas in key areas which include Cebu for close monitoring of meat shipments.

Even if he noted a slowdown in the spread of ASF in Luzon, Tambago said the move of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to extend the province-wide ban until June 30, 2020 was a necessity.

Around 300 stakeholders in the hog industry from the Visayas and Mindanao (VisMin) will have a closed-door summit on Tuesday, Nov. 12, to discuss protocols to prevent ASF from entering the VisMin corridor.

“We will formulate solid protocols to really protect the VisMin against ASF and hopefully, majority will follow it. There is a very big possibility that it will reach the VisMin. We don’t know when and where. That’s why we’re organizing the pig farmers,” he said.

Tambago said the information drive and seminars on ASF targeted towards the whole province of Cebu helped raise consumer awareness against the virus. The ASF virus affects only hogs and does not cause harm to humans. JOB