August 15, 2022

Philippines expected to recover from ASF in 2024


The Philippines' swine sector is expected to recover from African swine fever (ASF) in 2024, five years after the outbreak in 2019, based on the latest forecast of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).


In its 10-year Global Agricultural Outlook (2022 to 2031), the OECD and FAO said the global pork production is projected to rise by 17% at the end of the 10-year outlook period, up from an ASF-reduced base level 2019-2021 and benefiting from increasing specialisation of the sector and biosecurity measures.


However, the report noted that growth would remain limited in the first years of the outlook due to the ongoing recovery from the outbreaks of ASF in China, the Philippines and Vietnam. It expects the recovery process to be completed in China and Vietnam by 2023 and in the Philippines by 2024.


"Government strategies in the latter two are based on the development of a commercially available vaccine to control the spread of ASF, which will be critical in reducing the risks of future ASF outbreaks," the OECD-FAO said.


Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines president Rolando Tambago agreed, noting that the country can only determine swine industry recovery from ASF with the availability of vaccines.


"There is a good chance a vaccine will be available next year for the Philippine farmers so let's just wait for it," he said. "We are hoping for a local trial of NAVETCO ASF vaccine (developed by Vietnam and the United States) will start soon."


The Philippines needs to further step up its biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of ASF as the local hog industry starts to repopulate, according to Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG). SINAG president Rosendo So said the vaccine could take more time, so border inspection would be critical for the industry to fully recover.


- The Philippine Star

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