DA continues to boost urban agriculture program amid pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 3, 2021   •   108

 

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Agriculture (DA) continues to strengthen its urban agriculture program to address the food needs in the urban areas amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The program, according to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) was rolled out in partnership with local government units, national government agencies, as well as several organizations in the private sector.

Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Assistant Director Glenn Panganiban reported a total of 36 community gardens have been established, and 85 more will soon be developed.

A total of 938,561 seed packets have been distributed and 123 trainings, online and face-to-face, have been conducted to provide technical know-how to those who wish to up food gardens.

“Our goal is to enhance the capability of the city dwellers to grow their own food so that they will have access to safe and nutritious food items as we continue our battle with the pandemic,” he said.

Panganiban stressed that it is important to spread the concept of urban agriculture and establish more food gardens.

“This is a very therapeutic activity, fostering community spirit, and enabling everyone to heal and be healthy,” he said. AAC

 

DA to release SRP on pork next week

Marje Pelayo   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to release a new suggested retail price (SRP) on pork next week alongside the implementation of increased tariff.

“We will have a new SRP based on this EO that will set the new tariffs,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

The official added that consumers will surely benefit from the SRP and the supply of pork will be replenished through importation.

Dar added that this is just among the solutions of the government to address the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) on the local hog industry.

Coinciding with this measure is the ingoing repopulation of hogs.

Meanwhile, the price of pork in major markets in Metro Manila remains at P340 to P400 per kilogram.

Based on the estimate of the Meat Importers and Traders Association (MITA), they can still supply pork at P320 per kilogram retail price.

This is much lower than locally produced meat even after the government’s newly imposed tariff on pork.

“Ngayon pagtaas uli ng 5% siguro baka mga P315/kg or P320/kg. Baka dyan po babagsak ang bagong SRP,” said MITA president Jess Cham.

But for the group, Samahan ng Industriyang Agrikultura (SINAG), the price of imported pork should drop further because the cost of importation is way cheaper.

The group argued that the government is losing about P13 billion on tariff thus it is just for consumers to enjoy lower price of pork meat.

“Iyong suggested retail price ng imported ay gawing P200 para at least ay pumunta doon sa consumer yung nawala na taripa,” said SINAG president Rosendo So said.

Currently, DA’s SRP on imported pork ranges from P270 per kilogram to P350 per kilogram. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DA creates team for ivermectin trials vs. ASF

Marje Pelayo   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has created a research team to study the efficacy of ivermectin and other products against African swine fever (ASF).

The Special Order No. 310 was signed by Agriculture Secretary William Dar on April 30 ordering the formation of a research team for ASF control and prevention.

The research team is responsible for preparing proposals on the use of Ivermectin as an ASF booster specifically to look into the “use of ivermectin, ASF Buster, Cloud Feed, and other potential products for the control and prevention of ASF.”

The team will also conduct preliminary field trials of ivermectin and other agents to “produce science-based evidence in support to control and prevention programs of ASF, and formulate and draft science-based policies for the national guidelines in using ivermectin and other agents in the control and prevention programs of ASF.”

The research team is also expected to “collaborate with international research institutions to conduct experiments to support claims in the use of ivermectin and other agents.”

Ivermectin is a popular veterinary drug that has made headlines these days as many believe it is effective to prevent or treat COVID-19.

However, the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration warned over its prescription as the latter has yet to approve human-grade ivermectin in the country.

Under existing laws, ivermectin can only be prescribed to animals.

Number of barangays with ASF drops to 43

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—  The number of barangays affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) since August 2019 has dropped significantly.

From over 2,500 barangays, only 43 have active cases of ASF according to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

However, BAI Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Dr. Reildrin Morales said, the fight against the viral disease is far from over and could take years before it can be completely eradicated from the country.

“Lahat may risk kaya we mitigate the risk. Spain took 30 years. We want to learn from their lessons. Hopefully mas maikli tayo lalo na if hindi magbebenta mga farms na may tama,” Morales said.

He added that ASF may also spread through transport of pigs and pork products, but he assured that measures are in place to prevent transmission.

“May integrity ang accreditation system natin sa importation, pre-border, border and second border natin,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines (ProPork) president, Nick Briones lamented that hog raisers do not report ASF cases.

“Sigurado di matitigil ang ASF dahil walang nagdedeclare na hog raisers kung may tama ng ASF,” he said.

To address issues on pork supply, the Department of Agriculture has rolled out its swine repopulation program, focusing on areas previously affected by the ASF outbreak. AAC ( with reports from Rey Pelayo)

 

 

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