Shortage of pork supply expected

By March 7, 2021Business, News

A SHORTAGE of pork supply in Pangasinan may happen soon because the available supply is thinning due to African Swine Fever (ASAF) that had affected 36 municipalities in the province.

Dr. Jovito Tabarejos, acting provincial veterinarian, sounded the alert in Monday’s Question Hour of the provincial board on the inquiry on the status of supply and price of meat and other commodities in the province.

Tabarejos said there are 195 baragays in the 36 towns hit by ASF that affected 2,677 hog raisers and resulted in the culling of 20,106 heads of swine with an estimated P10-million loss.

On a positive note, he said the last reported ASF case in Pangasinan was in January this year yet that affected only one pig in Mapandan and the situation was immediately controlled as the infected hog was culled and buried.

To soften the impact due of depleting pork supply, Tabarejos said Agriculture Secretary William Dar recently a P30-million recovery program for Pangasinan.

Under the program, he said the Department of Agriculture has chosen 27 towns in Pangasinan as initial beneficiaries where small-scale hog raisers are provided with animal feeds and monitoring will be done with the help of their barangay officials.

He added that private companies are supporting semi-commercial hog dealers/raisers by providing subsidized feeds and breeder animals.

On fears that suppliers and dealers of imported frozen meat have taken advantage of the lack of local pork supply due to ASF. Tabarejos said advantage would be minimal because local consumers prefer fresh pork than frozen meat.

Tabarejos clarified that the price hike today is still the result of the hog dealers sourcing their supply outside Pangasinan.

Asked whether ASF-affected hog raisers can already resume their operations to address the scarcity of pork supply in Pangasinan, Tabajeros said hog raisers can proceed with caution as no vaccine is available yet to prevent ASF and can only implement bio-security measures.

Meanwhile, he said big swine raisers are being encouraged to start their breeding program because there is a serious lack of piglets in the province and there are no ready sources  for these. (Eva Visperas)

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