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Friday, April 12, 2024

‘Iloilo to distribute pigs to aid farmers during El Niño

By Perla Lena

ILOILO CITY – The provincial government has set aside PHP9 million for swine dispersal as a measure to address the impact of El Niño, with an initial focus on 15 municipalities unaffected by African swine fever (ASF).

“We aim to implement an El Niño-focused program. Instead of providing farm inputs, we will distribute animals that are less reliant on rainfall,” stated Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. during a press conference on Tuesday.

Defensor said it is another adjustment of the provincial government, aside from the existing program in agriculture.

“The swine approach is an adjustment. We turn to the animal industry,” he added.

The scheme is also one way of helping the swine industry increase its inventory amid the ASF.

The PHP9-million budget covers the PHP6.93 million for the purchase of swine and PHP2.07 million for feeds.

Provincial Agriculture Office chief Dr. Ildefonso Toledo said the province will download the funds to municipalities that will identify recipients.

Each recipient is expected to get two piglets for fattening.

Losses due to drought per PAO-validated data reached PHP526.61 million, covering 9,528.18 hectares of high-value crops, rice, and corn and the fishery sector affecting 10, 292 farmers and fisherfolk from the 17 municipalities of the province.

Defensor said the cost of damage may increase as the El Niño progresses until May.

“Our projection is until May. We will continue to implement our measures and extend as much as we can,” he added. (PNA)

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