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Remaining payments to small farmers affected by ASF estimated at P461M

PHILSTAR

INDEMNIFICATION still owed to small farmers who had their hogs culled as a precaution against African Swine Fever (ASF) amount to P461 million, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

Since the ASF outbreak in 2019, the DA said in a statement Saturday that outstanding requests for indemnification have amounted to P2.158 billion.

“In all, the DA has received a total of P2.158 billion in requests to indemnify affected backyard hog raisers, of which P1.697 billion has already been paid to 48,530 farmer-beneficiaries, who owned 379,420 culled hogs,” the department said.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the remaining P461 million will go to backyard raisers who remained uncompensated for the cull of about 92,200 hogs.

The DA pays P5,000 for each culled hog.

“We will continue to provide farmers with needed technical and financial assistance, so they can start anew, as we strongly pursue efforts to contain, manage and control the ASF, and subsequently revive the country’s swine industry,” Mr. Dar said.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has reported that since 2019, ASF has been detected in 2,981 barangays and 579 cities and municipalities, mostly in Luzon.

In August, the DA reported that ASF incidence is “waning,” with hogs that tested positive down to 147.

The department’s National Livestock Program Director Ruth S. Miclat-Sonaco, will establish 10 community-based production facilities in ASF-free areas through clustering and consolidation worth P50 million, including a climate-controlled 300-head grower capacity building located in a bio-secured area.

The department will also outfit 16 swine breeder multiplier farms for P125 million, in partnership with hog farmers’ cooperatives and associations, LGUs, and state universities and colleges.

BAI Director Reildrin G. Morales said in a statement that they will also procure and distribute RT-PCR equipment to all DA Regional Animal Diagnostic Laboratories to detect animal or human disease-causing organisms. — Marielle C. Lucenio

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