April 22, 2024


Iloilo, Philippines to showcase efforts against ASF at Pork Festival


The provincial government of Iloilo, Philippines, is preparing for the second instalment of its Pork Festival, highlighting its ongoing efforts against African swine fever (ASF), Philippine News Agency reported.


Governor Arthur Defensor Jr described the Pork Festival as a recovery programme aimed at showcasing the province's resilience in combating ASF. He said that the festival includes various measures, such as strengthening biosecurity practices and implementing the sentinel programme.


The provincial government has earmarked an initial PHP 8.31 million (US$144,000) to support 831 qualified farmers from 10 municipalities in implementing the sentinel programme. These municipalities have transitioned from red (infected) to pink (buffer zone) status, indicating their readiness for the sentinel program.


Under the programme, each farmer will receive two piglets for testing. If the piglets survive, it indicates that the area is free from the ASF virus.


Furthermore, the province has allocated PHP 10 million (US$173,000) for a piglet dispersal programme to assist farmers affected by the El Nino phenomenon. This initiative aims to provide support to farmers through piglet raising activities.


Governor Defensor said that these initiatives would contribute to the recovery of the swine industry in Iloilo. Since the first ASF case in September 2022, the swine inventory in the province has decreased by 71%.


As of April 15, 2024, Iloilo has 79,570 swine heads, equivalent to 35% sufficiency. However, when considering shipped-in frozen and processed foods, the sufficiency rate rises to 70%, according to data from the Bureau of Animal Industry – Veterinary Quarantine Station.


The governor anticipates the rollout of the sentinel programme and piglet dispersal next month, aiming to further bolster the province's efforts against ASF and support its agricultural sector.


-      Philippine News Agency

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