Bicol hog raisers lose P242M due to ASF

By Mar S. Arguelles


THE swine industry in Bicol has posted some P242 million in economic losses owing to the African Swine Fever (ASF) disease, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Bicol said recently.


DA data indicate that the ASF virus has affected 20,695 hogs from 3,163 farmers in 264 villages in the region with an estimated financial losses placed at P242 million.


The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in Bicol said that hog production in Bicol has dropped by 10 percent or 13,366 heads from 133,246 in 2019 to 119,880 heads in 2020.


The PSA data also indicate that a 52 percent drop in swine inventory from 891,457 or P11 billion recorded in January 2020 to 463,092 or P6 billion as of the same period this year.


Emily Bordado, DA spokesperson, in an interview said the price of live weight pigs in the market runs from P200 to 250 per kilo.


Bordado confirmed the PSA report, citing that the drop in production could be attributed to several factors such as the ASF outbreak, Covid-19 lockdown, high cost of feeds, and the outbound of swine to other regions.


She said Camarines Sur province was the hardest hit area of the ASF in Bicol affecting 17 towns and two cities, which resulted to the depopulation of some 12,153 swine affecting 2,214 hog raisers. It is followed by Albay with seven towns and two cities, culling 460 pigs from 122 hog raisers; and Camarines Norte, two towns,163 pigs from 25 swine raisers.


Bordado said some P638 million was spent by the agriculture department as indemnification assistance to the hog raisers.