MOUNTAIN PROVINCE, September 6, 2022 – The threat brought by the African Swine Fever (ASF) in Sadanga, Mountain Province has been mitigated in Barangay Bekigan through the application of biosecurity measures farmers learned from the Farmer Livestock School (FLS) implemented by the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in Cordillera Administrative Region.
The FLS accommodated 30 participants belonging to three farmers’ associations: Bekigan Farmers’ Association (BFA), Anabel Faith Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (AFFA), and Amkabigat Farmers’ Association (AFA) who are tasked to reecho the practices and learnings from the training to their respective groups for application.
Before organizing into a group, the 83 members of the BFA were mostly engaged in rice, vegetable production, and swine raising. The promising goals of DA-SAAD inspired them to apply as a beneficiary of the program since it aims to provide agricultural interventions to communities in need. The BFA was selected as a beneficiary of the DA-SAAD’s Swine Production and Swine Repopulation projects.
The AFFA, on the other hand, has 21 members who are rice and vegetable farmers and native chicken producers, and with the SAAD’s assistance, are also backyard swine raisers. They received livelihood packages for the DA-SAAD’s Swine Production and Swine Repopulation projects. In addition, they are also engaged in Carabao Raising and Heirloom Rice Production projects, also SAAD-initiated livelihood activities.
Further, the AFA is a group of farmers in Sacasacan, Sadanga composed of 60 members who are also small-scale farmers, farm laborers, and native chicken and pig raisers. They also received an Integrated Carabao Raising, Swine Production, and Heirloom Rice Production project from the DA-SAAD program.
From August to November 2021, the BFA, AFFA, and AFA participated in the FLS. Proper feeding practices, malting period, newborn piglet management, castration and injection, vitamin application, deworming, and disinfection were discussed. Additionally, biosecurity measures were also tackled such as the conduct of regular housing disinfection, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and alcohol usage while feeding, and visitor and pet restriction from the pigpens.
However, the sudden spread of the ASF in their community in April 2022 challenged the farmers to intensify the application of learnings from FLS to their livestock activities. As the ASF infected numerous backyard hogs, the alleged cause was the peak of the political campaign period for the national and local election in which slices of pork meat from a meeting de avance in the neighboring barangay were brought to Barangay Bekigan.
The mortality heightened in midweek of May until it reached a total of 30 pigs, composed of piglets, fatteners, and mother pigs, also including 10 head of pigs from the program.
Meanwhile, the AFFA from Barangay Anabel and the AFA in Barangay Sacasacan have remained ASF-free since the breakout in their province through the application of biosecurity measures they learned from the FSL.
To complement the implementation of the BaBay ASF Program from the Local Government Unit, Brgy. Bekigan was able to receive 5 kilograms of Vitarex Powder for disinfection of housings from the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVET) through the request of DA-SAAD. With continuous strict observance of biosecurity protocols, the cases gradually decreased. Further, the affected stocks were culled out and buried on one site as agreed by the hog raisers with the assistance of the barangay officials.
As of the last week of June, Barangay Bekigan has no new recorded cases of ASF. ###
Writer: Florde Liza A. Afidchao, DA-SAAD Mountain Province Information Officer
Source: Sadanga Project Development Officers