MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) said Friday the country had enough supply of pork even as the African swine fever ravaged hundreds of thousands of hogs.
Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista said shipments of live hogs and pork products from the Visayas and Mindanao would be increased to address the dwindling supply of pork in Luzon due to the depopulation of hog farms infected by the disease.
Due to transportation and production costs, prices of pork in public markets in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon are expected to increase, she said.
“We understand that our meat dealers will be incurring additional expense kaya tayo nagkaroon ng bagong (that’s why we have a new) suggested retail price, making sure of course na equitable pa rin po," Evangelista told Teleradyo.
“Hindi dapat madehado ang ating livestock raisers at the same time ang ating meat dealers na siyang nagdadala ng produkto dito sa NCR (Our livestock raisers should not be on the losing end and our meat dealers who will transport these products to the National Capital Region).”
Based on price monitoring reports provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as of Oct. 21, a kilogram of pork ham and pork belly are sold in most Metro Manila public markets at P320 and P360, respectively. This is P20 to P40 higher compared to prices recorded 2 weeks ago.
Agriculture officials and representatives of the country’s hog industry have agreed to heighten shipments of hogs and pork products from Visayas and Mindanao to Luzon, the agency said. The shipments have now totaled to 100,000 hogs.
Weekly shipments will be increased, ranging from 27,000 to 30,000 heads of hogs, coming from the main ports in Davao, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro. Other shipments will come from Cebu, Iloilo and Leyte.
Evangelista said they would also implement a new project to expand livestock and poultry production in the countryside.
Under the P337-million project, qualified beneficiaries will receive initial stocks of livestock and poultry animals for them to raise and propagate as source of food and sustainable income.
These include chicks for broiler production or ready-to-lay pullets for table egg production or free-range chicken, ducks, swine, goats, sheep, cattle and carabao, the agency earlier said in a statement.
The project beneficiaries per module may receive the following:
- Broiler production – 100 chicks worth P15,000;
- Native chicken and egg production – 40 hens, 10 roosters, feeds, and incubator, worth P55,000;
- Duck and balut production – 40 ducks and 10 drakes, worth P35,000;
- Hog production – three piglets (weaners) and eight bags of feeds, worth P25,000; and
- Livestock production – three does and 1 buck, one cattle or one carabao, at least P30,000 up to P120,000.