Swine raisers and women associations in Western Visayas are encouraged to engage in pork processing amid the high product surplus in the region.
DA 6 regional executive director, Remelyn Recoter, said that aside from the surplus, they should take advantage of the campaign not to patronize pork products and by-products sold online as a precautionary measure against the African swine fever.
“This is an opportunity for associations, swine raisers and other groups to engage in processing of pork products, such as longganiza and tocino as a replacement from other regions, which we are not sure if the raw materials that they are using are coming from affected areas,” she said during the meeting of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council held virtually Tuesday.
Recoter said the DA and local government units can provide the training program they need to start with the pork and other pork products processing.
In her presentation, Recoter said the preliminary hog inventory, as of April 1, as per data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, showed that the region has 1,203,430 heads, or a difference of 1.74 percent when compared with the 1,224,836 heads in the same period last year.
“In terms of the pork sufficiency level of Western Visayas, we have more than enough pork in Western Visayas at 285 percent. We have a net surplus of 126,747 metric tons,” she added.
During the first semester of this year, the region shipped to Luzon 186,846 heads of swine as against the 70,937 heads for the entire year in 2020.
Recoter said the closure of Boracay Island and the cancellation of events related to meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibits or MICE have contributed to the surplus in the production of pork and pork products in the region.
Currently, she said the region remains ASF-free.
However, the nearest province affected by the ASF is Masbate, a boat ride from the coastal areas of Capiz and northern Iloilo.
She added that the region also continues to raise awareness on ASF.
The Agricultural Training Institute is also conducting training for barangay biosecurity offices on how to get blood samples for suspected cases and geo-tagging of swine farms in the region.
A polymerase chain reaction equipment was acquired at the Regional Animal Diagnostic Laboratory to readily test specimens coming from suspect ASF cases.
The provinces of Negros Occidental, Antique, and Iloilo have existing ordinances against the ASF.*PNA