THE HOG INDUSTRY is claiming lost revenue of about P10 billion two months after the emergence of African Swine Fever (ASF) on farms in Luzon, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) said.
SINAG also urged the government to charge the importers of two containers of allegedly infected meat products from China, which has been battling the virus for over a year now. The products were reported to be “misdeclared” and were seized at the Port of Manila.
“The industry has lost P10 billion in the past two months,” SINAG said in a statement.
In a text message, SINAG Executive Director Jayson H. Cainglet said that the average farmgate price of pork has declined to P70-80 per kilo for backyard growers, while commercial growers could command P90 per kilo as of the third week of October.
“We urge authorities na kasuhan kaagad ang (to immediately file charges against the) consignee and the people in government who are in cahoots with them, if any,” it added.
SINAG said Republic Act No. 10845, or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, defines large-scale agricultural smuggling as economic sabotage.
The two containers were declared as tomato paste and vermicelli, but were later discovered to be containing pork products like dimsum, dumplings, minced meat, and others.
Since 2018, the government has banned entry of pork and pork products from countries infected by the virus, which include China, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Hungary, North Korea, Laos, Moldova, Mongola, Myanmar, Poland, Germany, and South Africa.
The pig cull currently totals 52,000 hogs across Luzon, about 17,000 of which were confirmed to be ASF-infected and the remainder killed as a precaution. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang