As the African swine fever (ASF) continues to threaten the livelihood of local hog raisers in the province, some residents here are now shifting to other livestock production to survive the pandemic.
In Piddig town, several residents are now engaged in cattle production as they dispose of their fattening pigs before they get infected.
In support to the backyard raisers, the municipal government led by Mayor Eduardo “Eddie” Guillen recently distributed at least 20 cows and 77 carabaos to farmers.
In partnership with government technicians who are experts in artificial insemination, the municipal government is also upgrading the local farmers’ native cows with “Wagyu”, a Japanese cattle breed.
According to Guillen, they plan to produce around 2,000 Wagyu cows annually. Wagyu cows cost from PHP30,000 to PHP50,000 each.
“This is another convergence project between the Piddig government, the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Animal Industry, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” he said in an interview Tuesday.
In anticipation of the entry of ASF in the area and avoid mass culling of pigs, Guillen said the municipality has allocated PHP900,000 from its calamity fund for the purchase of pigs of small hog raisers in the area.
“What we did was like hitting two birds with one stone”, said Guillen as pork meat was added to the relief packs that they distribute to every household in these trying times.
Aside from pork meat, each household also received rice and grocery items courtesy of the municipal and barangay units.
Presently, ASF has already been detected in Dingras, Marcos, Solsona, Vintar, Carasi, Nueva Era, Banna, Laoag and San Nicolas while local authorities are closely monitoring its buffer zones or its nearby municipalities. (PNA)