The Agriculture Department asked Mindanao-based hog raisers to ship their surplus production to Luzon and the Visayas, which are experiencing tight pork supply.
“We are looking at an initial volume of 1,700 metric tons of pork from Davao and General Santos City that are available for immediate transport to the Visayas and Luzon,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar Wednesday.
Davao hog raisers committed to ship 500 MT of surplus pork each month, while those in General Santos and Cagayan de Oro pledged to deliver 3,000 MT a month.
“However, we are confronted with a few challenges in transporting frozen pork, including other food and fishery products, from Mindanao to Visayas and Luzon. We are addressing them swiftly in direct consultation with concerned local government units,” Dar said.
The department, while strongly advocating for the unhampered movement of pork amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, assured the public that pork from Mindanao was free from the African swine fever and of good quality.
“We continue to strictly enforce the biosecurity and quarantine measures to effectively manage, contain and control ASF, and prevent it from spreading to Visayas and Mindanao that are free from the dreaded swine disease,” Dar said.
He said despite the adverse impact of ASF in Luzon, there might be adequate supply of pork in the second and third quarters of 2020. He said a gap in the fourth quarter representing 31 days of demand could affect supply and prices, especially during the holiday season.
The country has a pork sufficiency level of 93 percent, which means about 7 percent of the supply comes from other countries.
“In lieu of pork, we enjoin consumers to shift to other protein sources like chicken, as we have an abundant supply of up to 233 days or until August 2021,” Dar said.