THE US and Philippine Agriculture departments said they jointly launched a project to further insulate the Philippine hog industry from African Swine Fever (ASF).

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide training to officials from the Philippine Department of Agriculture to improve veterinary services to ensure safe pork and pork products.

“Since our initial conversation with the Philippine government a few years ago, the opportunity to better understand ASF and the benefits for both countries were always clear,” National Pork Producers Council President Terry Wolters said in a statement.

Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines President Rolando E. Tambago said that the project is a “timely initiative that will enhance the industry’s competence in disease control.”

“The knowledge gained from the project can be cascaded to our Asian neighbors to better equip farmers in their fight against ASF,” National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc. President Chester Warren Y. Tan added.

The USDA funds the Building Safe Agricultural Food Enterprises project, which assists Philippine hog farmers in their repopulation efforts by strengthening biosecurity measures at the farm level.  

“Through the Cochran Fellowship Program, USDA has trained many local hog raisers since 2017 in improving their food safety through proper cold chain and handling,” it added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson