Uniform data sought as ASF continues to spread
In a virtual briefing yesterday, Bureau of Animal Industry director Reildrin Morales said the private sector has been saying that 36 percent of the total inventory was affected by the swine disease.
AFP/File

Uniform data sought as ASF continues to spread

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — As African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in the country, the private sector and the government are harmonizing their data on the country’s hog inventory.

In a virtual briefing yesterday, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) director Reildrin Morales said the private sector has been saying that 36 percent of the total inventory was affected by the swine disease.

This means that 4.57 million of the 12.7 million hogs were affected by ASF.

“But official data from the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority) showed that it is more or less just 10 percent,” Morales said.

On the other hand, the Department of Agriculture said only 431,000 hogs have been culled due to ASF.

“Secretary (William) Dar ordered that we focus on coming up with a unified data that both the private sector and the government will use,” Morales said.

He said the price of pork continues to increase as traders compete with supply, especially those coming from the Visayas and Mindanao, where minimal ASF cases were recorded.

Latest market monitoring showed that pork shoulder or kasim is now P400 per kilo while pork belly or liempo is P440 per kilo.

“Our stakeholders in the Visayas are saying that traders are aggressive in buying and they are pushing the prices of pork up,” Morales said.

Luzon, where a majority of the production is situated, was hardest hit by ASF. Led by Metro Manila, it is also the biggest consumer of pork.

To help stabilize prices, Dar said import allocation under the minimum access volume of 54,000 metric tons should be properly distributed and delivered immediately.

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER
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