BACKYARD HOG growers will find the government’s swine repopulation program too burdensome to implement, while commercial farms will require minimal investment to comply with new biosecurity rules, an industry official said.

Ibigay sa maraming mga private commercial farms kasi (the bulk of the repopulation program should go to commercial farms because) they already have the facilities, so all they need to invest on is the retrofitting,” according to Alfred Ng, vice-president of Hog Farmers, Inc., speaking on the sidelines of the 29th National Hog Convention.

Mr. Ng said that the federation issued a position paper last month proposing a focus on commercial farms to accelerate the repopulation effort.

“What we are suggesting is 70% goes to commercial farms while 30% goes to the backyard because they also need to help them,” he said.

The government’s repopulation program is known as the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion program, run by the Department of Agriculture. The program will issue grants of P10 million per farm, recently raised from P5.5 million.

Eligible for the grants are qualified farmer cooperatives and associations with a minimum of 2,000 square meters to establish a new biosecure facility.

The grants allocate P6 million for facilities, which must include a perimeter fence, climate-controlled animal house, waste management systems, and other equipment.

Some P2.4 million will go towards the procurement of 300 animals, P1.5 million for feed and biological support, and P100,000 for other items such as disinfectants.

Apart from piglets, Mr. Ng said that the program should also include distribution of breeders to deter farmers from engaging in flip sales of piglets.

Mr. Ng said many backyard farms cannot afford to maintain such facilities due to energy costs. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera