More than Php41.6M was distributed to 3,105 farmers in the Ilocos Region whose swine livelihood was affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.

This is in payment to the 21,840 culled swine on February to September 2020 as part of the Department of Agriculture’s control strategy of the disease.

In February, DA has launched the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) as another program to combat ASF.

Components of INSPIRE include calibrated repopulation and intensified production, establishment of breeder multiplier farms, provision of insurance premium, biosecurity and surveillance program, and intensification and modernization of production in the semi-commercial and commercial farms.

The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1 has allotted Php 60,000,000 for its repopulation initiatives.

Beneficiaries under this component must be located one kilometer away from the site of infection, duly identified by the LGU to be an ASF-affected farmer, RSBSA registered and member of a farmers’ association, and among the poor and disadvantaged raisers.

The identified areas will undergo environmental swabbing in the 7th, 21st and 40th day. If no outbreaks will be detected in the area after 40 days, the beneficiary will be given three 60-day old piglets including feeds, veterinary drugs, and biologics good for three to four months.

To intensify swine production, INSPIRE also offers expansion of production in both ASF-affected and ASF-free zones through clustering model for small hold farmers who are willing to be organized.

Under this model, clustered raisers in infected areas must strictly follow quarantine measures while those with zero cases must observe biosecurity protocols.

Credit programs will also be made available in partnership with the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Development Bank of the Philippines.

As of date, 53 municipalities in the region remains infected of ASF and 25 municipalities are close to these zones. These locations are in the provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, and Ilocos Sur.

The province of Ilocos Norte continues to be ASF-free.

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