THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) said it approved loans worth P3.2 billion as of the end of July to support the hog repopulation effort.

Under the program, commercial hog raisers registered as cooperatives or farmers’ associations, small and medium enterprises, and large enterprises or corporations can avail of loans to aid in building up their hog production and herd populations.

“The challenge is to educate, teach, and get all farmers to commit and accept the new normal of swine farming. We must learn to live with the virus and protect our farms by strengthening our biosecurity and facilities,” National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc. Chairman Chester Warren Y. Tan said in a statement.

Mr. Tan said that the livestock industry remains resilient despite various challenges caused by climate change, high production costs, global animal diseases, and market slowdown.

“Many pig farmers, for instance, have already succeeded in their repopulation efforts amid threats from the African Swine Fever (ASF) by adopting strict and globally accepted biosecurity standards,” he added. 

RDF Feed, Livestock & Foods, Inc. Chief Executive Robert H. Lo said that “embracing innovation” is key to overcoming the present challenges faced by the livestock industry.

“The best time to repopulate is now because of the insufficient supply in the market. And if we repopulate, we need to do it right by applying a science-based approach to increase production. With bigger farms and good biosecurity, we can achieve this,” he added.

Apart from the hog sector, LANDBANK also provides credit programs for dairy production, processing, marketing, and other dairy-based activities.

The state-run bank said it distributed a total of P183 million to borrowers under the program. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson