The Department of Agriculture (DA) committed to distribute the P400 million indemnification fund before end-January to repopulate the country’s hog industry.
In a Laging Handa briefing, Agriculture chief William Dar said the fund will compensate losses incurred by hog raisers affected by the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.
Dar said the government is also fast-tracking the shipment of 54,000 metric tons of imported pork to fill in the supply gap due to ASF.
“It should come in by around February or April. On top of that, we are still mobilizing pork and pork products from the green zones of the Visayas and Mindanao and Luzon as well,” Dar said.
Last week, the DA detected the first case of ASF in two barangays of Abuyog in Leyte.
Blood samples from hogs in backyard farms in Barangays Can-aporong and Bunga tested positive for ASF.
The local government unit has started culling hogs within the 500-meter radius as precautionary a measure.
Losses due to ASF were pegged at P135 billion.
The DA said 430,000 hogs were affected by the swine disease. However, stakeholders claimed more than five million hogs were culled.
To mitigate the impact of the ASF, the DA is hastening the construction of the country’s first border inspection facility.