The Department of Agriculture (DA) gave an assurance on Saturday that there will be enough pork and egg supply in the country in time for the Christmas season with improved local production and scheduled meat importations.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said in a news forum in Quezon City that pork importations are continuing especially in the fourth quarter, based on the schedule arranged by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BPI) last month.

“Iyong nabanggit ko dati na, iyon nga na inayos ko ngayon… iyong import naman ay tuluy-tuloy iyan dahil parating ngayong fourth quarter – ito iyong naproseso noong mga nakaraang buwan pa ng Bureau of Animal Industry,” De Mesa said.

“May mga pumapasok naman regularly ng importation. Iyong ASF [African Swine Fever] naman ay nandito na sa atin, nagsimula ito noong August 2019 sa Rodriguez, Rizal, noong Regional Director pa ako at marami nang lugar na tinamaan ng ASF iyong napa-graduate na natin from infected zone o red zone into pink zone, iyong buffer zone natin hanggang yellow zone.”

To counter the effect of the ASF, De Mesa said that the DA has been carrying out the “BABay ASF” program, in addition to pest control, prevention, biosecurity and repopulation initiative by the department.

This is to ensure that those areas hit by ASF could restart production, De Mesa said, stressing that another promising development is the development of ASF vaccine.

“Ito ay tuluy-tuloy… tapos ngayon iyong bakuna para sa ASF at sa AI ay undergoing iyong ating testing at maganda iyong resulta and hopefully ay magtuluy-tuloy po ito,” he said.

With regard to egg supply in the country, especially with the Christmas holiday, De Mesa said they don’t see any problem or disruption.

“Pero dahil stable iyong ating supply pati iyong production natin ng day-old pullets na magiging layers pagdating ng panahon ay maganda iyong population so wala tayong nakikitang problema,” De Mesa told the forum about egg supply.

“At iyong Avian Influenza na nakaapekto sa Central Luzon, bagama’t may ilan naapektohan ay unti-unti na rin ang nakaka-recover.”

According to the agriculture official, egg consumption usually increases during the opening of classes as more students prefer egg for breakfast.

There is also high demand from hotels, restaurants and industrial users (HRIs). About 40 percent of the supply goes to industrial users, while 60 percent for household consumption. |PND

Photo Courtesy of TheBenchFiles