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Private firms join DA to control ASF, revive hog industry

Author: DA Communications Group | 18 March 2021

Leading animal health and nutrition companies and agribusinesses concretized their strong support by forging a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to jointly undertake a twin program to effectively control, manage and contain African Swine Fever (ASF) and revive the country’s hog industry.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company (UNAHCO) President Ricardo Alba led the signing of the MoU, along with several other private sector partners, to implement the Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABay ASF) and the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) program, at the DA-BSWM convention hall, in Quezon City, on March 17, 2021.

“I am confident that with this partnership, we can attain our goal of reviving the country’s swine sector, which is very crucial in our food security efforts,” Secretary Dar said.

UNAHCO will create a working group composed of its industry partners and assign a focal person that will coordinate with the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), National Livestock Program (NLP), and Regional Field Offices (RFOs).

The industry partners include the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP), International Training Center on Pig Husbandry (ITCPH), Pig Improvement Company (PIC), Provimi: Cargill, Novus International, Kemin Industries, Phil. Association of Feed Millers, Inc. (PAFMI), and SGS Philippines.

“The extent of ASF has reached an alarming proportion and the DA openly welcomes our help. This is a class example of public and private helping each other,” Alba said.

Based on the MoU, UNAHCO will lead industry partners to support the DA in implementing the BABay ASF sa Barangay and INSPIRE twin program with the provision of breeders, gilts, and piglets, disinfectants, vitamin supplements, technology transfer, and technical manpower for coordination and mobilization.

“We stand committed, after being in the industry for 54 years. Again, we would like to reassure the DA under the leadership of Secretary William Dar, of our strong and continued support. We will be with you Mr. Secretary, and hope we will jointly succeed,” Alba said.

UNAHCO, a corporation engaged in the business of animal health care and nutrition, has been providing extension support services such as technical support to livestock raisers, conduct of seminars, and other information and education campaigns in rural areas.

In support of the ongoing DA programs to revive the hog industry, Alba said UNAHCO has earlier launched related programs such as the “Pigkitaan Natin Muli” swine repopulation under the Pigrolac Hog Feeds and the “Singko Kasado Biosecurity Campaign” for backyard hog raisers.

“I wish to reiterate my call on our partners – the local government units (LGUs), hog industry stakeholders, veterinary associations, universities, and research institutions, farmers’ cooperatives and associations, and backyard and commercial hog raisers – to join us implement stringent and sustainable biosecurity measures from here on,” Secretary Dar said.

He also highlighted the key role and responsibility of LGUs for the successful implementation of the BABay ASF program, as it is implemented right at the barangay level.

Pagtulungan nating ipatupad nang maigting ang mga programang ito. Through our united stand, ASF can be defeated, will be defeated,” the agri chief concluded. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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