THE Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) will be assessing the challenges confronting the swine industry in Mindanao through a Mindanao-wide hog raisers and stakeholders’ forum on September 9, at the Minda office, Old Airport Road, Davao City.

The forum will be in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and will be participated in by the local government units (LGUs), backyard hog raisers, commercial hog raisers, veterinarians, and quarantine officers.

The issue on the possible entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country through the processed pork products from other countries like China, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and seven more other Asian and European countries will also be focused as Minda Secretary Emmanuel Piñol reiterated the importance of putting safeguard measures to protect Mindanao from the worst case scenario.

“There is the need for an island-wide orientation to safeguard Mindanao from entry of processed pork meats from other countries,” Piñol said.

He added that the safeguard measures include control in the entry of frozen meats, manning of quarantine checkpoints, and the recall of imported processed meats which the LGUs should be at the forefront of the “strict prohibition of meat imports”.

In previous report, backyard hog raisers in the city expressed dismay over the low farm gate price of pork at P105 per kilogram (kg) despite the import ban when the local swine industry has expected an increase of farm gate price of pork in the market up to at least P120 per kg.

Backyard Raiser Association president Filemon Santander also mentioned issues in the swine industry like decline of demand in the market and possible smuggling of pork meat products.

Meanwhile, Davao City Veterinary Office (CVO) assured that the city remains free from the ASF.

CVO officer-in-charge Doctor Esther Cherrie Rayos said her team is constantly coordinating with hog raisers to ensure that government biosecurity protocol is followed.

She added that the city government has asked all backyard hog raisers to avoid giving swill to their hogs because this will increase the chances of infection.