BABay helps reduce ASF threats, readies Iligan City hog farmers for repopulation
Makati City, Philippines – [June 18, 2021] – With the undeterred support of ADM (NYSE: ADM), one of the world’s leading human and animal nutrition providers, to the Bantay ASF Sa Barangay (BABay ASF) Project, Iligan City now shows encouraging results in its fight against the African Swine Fever (ASF), one of today’s biggest threats in the country’s hog industry.
With the joint efforts of the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP), local governments, and ADM, the barangay biosecurity officers (BBO) successfully monitored and alleviated the ASF threat in six barangays, composed of Abuno, Dalipuga, Digkilaan, Tipanoy, San Roque, and Pugaan which is the ground zero of ASF in Iligan City.
“The city has successfully contained the transmission of the ASF virus in the originally-affected barangays, Digkilaan and Pugaan, and maintained control to prevent any new cases. In addition, some affected areas have already started initiating repopulation procedures,” said Dr. Dahlia Valera, the city veterinarian of Iligan City.
ADM’s financial assistance covered the volunteers’ training, farmer seminars, and the procurement of more than 700 ASF Test Kits and PCR test kits. It allowed the Barangay Biosecurity Officers (BBOs) to monitor more than 700 backyard and commercial hog farms and tested approximately 400 pigs for ASF. Using the ASF test kits, early detection of pigs with ASF was made possible. The effective surveillance and monitoring conducted by BBOs prevented possible outbreaks of ASF if the necessary protocols were not followed prior to repopulation.
The project is currently protecting more than 40,000 pigs from 6 barangays. The Department of Agriculture (DA) is also planning to establish a multiplier farm that will provide piglets to help in the repopulation effort.
“We are glad to know that all of our efforts to fight the ASF epidemic are paying off. We will remain committed to protecting the livelihoods of hog farmers until the virus is no more and bring the hog industry back to its full strength,” said Lorenzo Mapua, ADM Animal Nutrition Philippines Managing Director.
Valera added that “every aspect of the project helped control the ASF outbreak” in the city. The biosecurity training equipped BBOs with the needed knowledge to supervise local hog raisers’ proper entry and exit. At the same time, the ASF test kits helped the city pinpoint potential areas for repopulation and focus on those that needed more attention.
The training also helped BBOs to closely monitor and lead farmers in each barangay to implement strict biosecurity, thus, bringing numerous farms closer to the repopulation of its livestock and rejuvenate the city’s hog industry.
“Some of the affected barangays have already begun preliminary repopulation procedures but will still follow strict guidelines and requirements in doing so. The course of the virus spread is still too early to estimate a specific timeframe for when the city’s hog industry will return to its full strength. Rest assured, the City Veterinarian’s Office is religiously adherent to the protocols under the BABay ASF project and make Iligan City ASF-free again soon,” Valera noted.
As the effectiveness of the BABay projects continues to reflect in Iligan City, ADM plans to extend support to other ASF-affected provinces in the country and further empower the Philippine hog industry towards its goal to livestock repopulation.
“We understand that our victories in Iligan City may be small, but it only goes to show that the project is working. In a span of a few months, we are seeing results leading to repopulation of the city’s hog farms, and it gives us the confidence to launch the project in other provinces in the country,” said Dr. Max M. Montenegro, PCSP BABay ASF project leader.
To learn more about ADM’s Animal Nutrition business, visit www.admanimalnutrition.com.