By Rey Anthony Chiu | 03:36 PM November 15, 2022
If there is anything worth looking forward to, African Swine Fever (ASF), when it was first detected in the Philippines in July 2019, has since hit 53 provinces, 704 cities/municipalities, and 3 832 barangays, has opened up the pigpens of opportunity for Bohol backyard hog raisers.
But, being an ASF-free province, prices of live weight of pigs have risen from P110 in January 2020 to P180 in October 2022.
In fact, if one wants the less hassle and shorter time to fatten their piglets, selling them a few months after weaning, as raw material for lechon, gives one the biggest of profit margins.
According to data from the Office of the Provincial veterinarian, from P119 per kilo live weight in January of 2021, the current price is P250 per kilo as of October 2022. This is an increase of P131 per kilo since ASF was declared in some areas in Luzon then.
And for backyard growers who are into butchering and selling the meat, pork price per kilo has since risen from P195 per kilo in January 2021 to PP320, an increase of P125 per kilo as noted last month.
A possible bigger profit may be up with Luzon markets now low on pork supply.
Nearby Zamboanga City is currently wrestling to contain the disease, some 4,365 pigs have died, and more have been culled as the city remains under ASF red zone, the disease present in 34 out of its 98 barangays.
In Sorsogon in the Bicol region in Luzon, veterinary authorities killed 727 pigs from September to October from 238 pig raisers, just to control the spread of the disease.
In the Visayas, while Central Visayas, that is Cebu, Bohol, Negros oriental and Siquijor have remained ASF Free, the situation in southern Leyte, an hour away from Bohol is seemingly desperate.
From March of this year to August of this year, ASF-Task Force teams have culled around 2 500 pigs of 511 pig raisers to stop the spread of the disease.
In the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry tracking, as of September 16, only regions 6 and 7 have remained ASF-free. Then, a month later, the first ASF case in Western Visayas Region was reported in Iloilo.
Western Visayas also happens to be one of the biggest suppliers of live pig to Manila, which would be cut off with the disease noted there.
This opens the pen doors for Bohol growers, who continue to ship their live pigs via hog vans and ship them to Manila where the demand is escalating and the supply is dwindling.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr Stella Marie Lapiz also said that when hogs supply in Manila started to get low, Bohol shipped at the peak of COVID, some 3,958 hogs from January to June 2021 and then P13,211 heads in July to December 2021.
By 2022, from January to June, Bohol shipped out 14,468 head and then 4,970 head in July to September.
The market is really big and for Bohol growers to benefit from it however, it is imperative that everyone do their share in making sure Bohol remains ASF free so we could continue shipping out and profit, Dr. Lapiz stressed. (rahc/PIA_7/Bohol)