Philippine Hog farmers seek gov. assistance

24-06-2008 | |

Philippine hog raisers are seeking government assistance in the form of a zero tariff on feed ingredients and farm equipment and establishment of a diagnostic laboratory to help them recover from the adverse impact of the diseases that wreaked havoc on their farms last year.

The industry filed the necessary petition in March but the Tariff Commission has yet to act on it. As feeds account for 65-70 percent of the industry’s cost, the increase from P69 ($1.54) per kilo earlier this year to P80 ($1.79) per kilo is an extra burden for farmers.

Last year, about 30 percent of the country’s backyard swine farms were wiped out and more than 20 percent of commercial farms were adversely affected by swine diseases, including a strain of the porcine reproduction and respiratory syndrome.

Gabriel Uy, chairman of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc., said at a news briefing that “the problem is we have no proper diagnostic laboratory to identify the disease strains that hit local hogs, so we do not know what vaccine we should administer”. A state-of-the art diagnostic lab would allow proper identification of these diseases.

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