BACOLOD CITY — Negros Occidental is facing oversupply of hogs and pork products in the wake of the decrease in demand and prices due to the African swine fever (ASF) scare.
Swine shipment from Negros Occidental has been prohibited from entering Cebu, and if the same happens to hog supply being sold to Manila and Iloilo, the markets in the province will be flooded with its own supply, according to the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO).
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on Wednesday said the provincial government will undertake all the necessary steps to protect the livelihood of hog raisers in the province.
“I will make the earnest effort to strike an agreement that will facilitate the sale of livestock in new markets,” he added.
Lacson maintained that pigs raised in Negros Occidental are ASF-free and safe for transport to other provinces.
Provincial veterinarian Renante Decena said Lacson will coordinate with Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to address hog transport restrictions between the two provinces.
Negros Oriental buyers procure hogs from Negros Occidental and supply the stocks to Cebu.
“We have high backyard production, but the demand has decreased. The market in Cebu has closed and there are restrictions supply in movement, but eventually they will still source hog supply from us,” Decena said.
Negros Occidental is the number one backyard hog raiser in the country, and PVO figures showed that the province’s current annual production for both backyard and commercial swine is 510,000 heads.
Last year, the province’s total pork consumption was pegged at 37,000 metric tons (MT). With an annual production of 54,000 MT, Negros Occidental has pork surplus of about 16,000 MT.
Moreover, Lacson has directed the synchronized dissemination of information, education and communication (IEC) materials to strengthen the campaign against the entry of ASF in the province.
On Wednesday, the governor met with Decena, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II, Commercial Hog Raisers Association president Ray de la Rama, and Alliance of Hog Raisers Association of Negros Occidental president Cynthia de la Cruz to discuss the initiative.
The ASF Provincial Task Force, in coordination with the City of Kabankalan, will also put up a checkpoint in the southern Negros city to monitor hog shipments entering the area. (PNA)
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