Amidst the difficulty in conducting face-to-face forum, the Department of Agriculture in Ilocos region spearheaded a one-day virtual forum on Pig farming to talk about the biggest challenge to the swine industry today which is the African Swine Fever outbreak.

Since swine is the largest among the livestock industries in the country, the DA is in pursuit of reviving the hog industry through the provision of necessary interventions to stakeholders and individuals who are interested in this venture.

Experts from various agencies were invited as resource speakers to share the latest updates on swine raising.

Among the topics discussed is the BABay ASF (Bantay ASF sa Barangay) and the implementation of biosecurity in the farm.

Dr. Katherine Merin, technical manager of MSD Animal Health – Swine Business Unit, gave emphasis on the importance of biosecurity to prevent entry and spread of virus into the pig farm.

Apart from this, SWINE lending program (Special Window and Interim Support to Nurture Hog Enterprise) was also discussed. Under this program, the Land Bank of the Philippines provided a total amount of P15-B that can be borrowed by commercial hog raisers, farmers’ associations (FCA) and farmers’ cooperatives. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and agribusiness enterprises and corporations are also allowed to borrow from this program.

Qualified borrowers can avail of the program under two facilities which is the short-term loan line (STLL) and term-loan (TL). Under STLL, the borrower would be given a credit line with a maximum of six months to pay while TL could exceed up to five years.

Topics discussed also include NLP’s project to revive the local swine industry and insurance policies for swine sector.

Meanwhile, Dr. Annie Bares, chief of the Regulatory Division, urged the public to collaborate and be part of the solution to the ASF outbreak since everyone is a stakeholder.

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