THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said that it opened a swine multiplier and technology demonstration (SMTD) farm in Pangasinan, which will serve the hog repopulation needs of the Ilocos Region.

“We will repopulate our hog sector through these swine technology centers,” Agriculture Undersecretary Deogracias Victor B. Savellano said.

The DA opened the facility in Natividad, Pangasinan in response to the losses in the hog herd caused by African Swine Fever (ASF).

“We have put in place biosecurity measures that use a standard shelter design for hogs to keep small farms safe from ASF,” he added.

He said that the facility makes breeders available to hog farmers in the region.

“The facility will provide support to local raisers… by (also) producing adequate and quality stock to supply DA and other agencies’ needs for sustainability in production,” he added.

The DA has allocated about P40 million to build four SMTDs in the region. The three other facilities will be in Manaoag, Pangasinan and Candon and Vigan, Ilocos Sur. The other facilities are also set to be launched this year.

The cost of each facility is about P10 million,  including tunnel vent equipment, 30 breeder sows, and feed.

“The technology centers will be sites through which good swine genetics will be disseminated to far-flung provinces,” Mr. Savellano said.

“By training farmers in biosecurity measures, Philippines will be able to raise hog the inventory and pork supply,” he added. — Adrian H. Halili