North Cotabato hog raisers lose P100M monthly

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 21 February) – Hog raisers in North Cotabato are losing at least P100 million a month after local governments in parts of the Visayas banned all pigs and pork products from Mindanao after reports of an African Swine Fever outbreak in Davao Occidental and other parts of Region 11.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of the African Swine Fever in Don Marcelino town in Davao Occidental, the first reported outbreak in Mindanao. MINDANEWS PHOTO

Ronald Barrios, head of B-MEG Kidapawan branch, said that every month at least 1,000 live pigs from the city and other areas of the province could no longer reach Tacloban, Leyte, Samar, Cebu and Bohol because of the ban.

B-MEG of San Miguel Foods is into the feeds manufacturing business.

Barrios said they would buy live pigs from backyard raisers at P95 a kilo and sell them to their clients in the Visayas for at least P125 a kilo.

Before the lockdown in Don Marcelino town in Davao Occidental after an ASF outbreak was declared, he said they used to deliver at least 300 live pigs every week to the Visayas.

But the ban in the Visayas has created an oversupply of live pigs in North Cotabato and in the region, he said.

“This is why we’re asking for a consideration from the government… that officials in Region 8 should not bar us from transporting live pigs and pork products because Kidapawan City and North Cotabato are considered ASF-free,” he said.

Local hog raisers could only transport their products to Cagayan de Oro City, other parts of Davao region, and Caraga Region, he added.

Local hog raisers lamented there has been a decrease in the demand for pork due to the ASF scare.

The ASF scare has also caused a decline in sales of lechon (roasted pig) in Kidapawan, Tony Arenas, a ‘lechonero’ from Barangay Magsaysay said.

He said they used to cook at least 10 lechons a day. But the ASF scare brought their sales down by 50 percent, he said.

“We’re losing at least P25,000 of income a day because of this ASF. Also, the demand for pork products in the city’s public market went down by 50 percent,” he explained.

Both Barrios and Arenas assured clients they are into selling healthy pigs and ASF-free pork products. (Malu Cadeliña-Manar/MindaNews)