NorMin pork prices soar due to high demand

 The prices of pork in Northern Mindanao have increased as other areas in the country turn to the region for their meat supply in the wake of the African swine fever (ASF) threat, the Department of Agriculture-10 (DA-10) said Friday afternoon.

In a statement, DA-10 noted that swine traders from Luzon, Visayas, and other regions in Mindanao have been offering competitive prices to Northern Mindanao’s hog raisers, prompting local producers to raise prices.

However, Carlota Madriaga, DA-10 regional technical director for operations, said the increase can be considered “artificial.”

Madriaga assured that although suppliers from elsewhere in the country source pork from hog farmers in the region, there is still sufficient supply for local consumers.

“Based on the monitoring report and the reports from the local government units–and from our program directory–Northern Mindanao should not be worried. As of the end of December (2020), we have enough supply of pork,” Madriaga said.

With about 600 percent pork sufficiency in the region, Agriculture Secretary William Dar has urged the region to provide more supply in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon and Visayas to stabilize prices.

As of January 21, a kilo of pork of meat and pork belly are being sold at an average of PHP270 to PHP300, while live hog is priced at PHP170 per kilo from commercial hog growers and PHP135 from backyard farms.

Madriaga said the Northern Mindanao Hog Raisers Association (NorMinHog) has also assured DA-10 that it will find ways to regulate pork prices, especially for the region’s consumers.

Meanwhile, DA-10 said it has offered insurance for hog raisers affected by the ASF through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.

For PHP225 per head, a farmer could already claim PHP10,000 for their ASF-stricken swine.

For backyard hog raisers, DA-10 offers free insurance as long as the farmer is registered with the agency’s database.

DA-10 said it also provides indemnification cash assistance where affected growers could receive PHP5,000 per culled animal.

To contain the spread of animal diseases, Madriaga said DA-10 is equipped with a laboratory to analyze samples from affected livestock.

She also urged hog raisers to coordinate with their respective provincial veterinary offices for samples needing analysis.

NorMinHog president Leon Tan Jr. said ASF can easily be contained with the close cooperation of the DA, the local governments, the private sector, and the consumers.

Backyard hog raisers, Tan said, must use healthy and safe feeds that are available in the market instead of swill feeding to avoid the risk of contracting the virus. 

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