In honor of the growth and transformation of the Philippine livestock and poultry industries following the consecutive blows by the outbreak of transboundary animal diseases, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more, the Department of Agriculture (DA) formally launched the 3rd National Livestock and Poultry Month on October 9.
This year’s event was spearheaded by the DA Office of the Undersecretary for Livestock together with the DA-National Livestock Program (NLP) and its livestock attached agencies: Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), National Dairy Authority (NDA), National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), and the Agricultural Training Institute – International Training Center on Pig Husbandry (ATI-ITCPH).
With the theme, “Banyuhay: Bagong Anyo at Buhay: Pagpapalakas sa Industriya ng Paghahayupan Bilang Tugon sa Pagkamit ng Seguridad sa Pagkain at Wastong Nutrisyon,” the celebration honors the great strides made by the Department alongside the country’s 2.8 million livestock and poultry farmers—as per the September 15, 2023 data of the DA-Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA)—to rise above every challenge throughout the years.
The DA-NLP reported that as of September 15, the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) Program, one of the DA’s twin programs to counter the impacts of the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak, had already distributed 85,601 sentinel pigs to over 32,437 ASF-affected farmers; 616 farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) had benefited from project packages; 56 FCA members had received grants to procure 9,240 breeders; 19 FCAs and 23 local government units (LGUs) had been awarded with a P10-million project to establish 30-sow level multiplier farms; and 11 FCAs and 16 LGUs had received 8-boar “AI sa Barangay” Centers.
“Simula po noong second quarter ng 2022, positive na po ang growth ng ating swine industry. At siyempre po, nanguna po ang ating Departamento upang muling makabawi ang ating mga magbababoy mula sa ASF,” said DA-NLP Director Dr. ruth Miclat-Sonaco.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Native Animal Development (PNAD)—a joint effort of the DA-NLP, the DA-BAI, and DA Regional Field Offices (RFOs) to conserve and promote Philippine native animals—also distributed 24,712 heads of native chicken, 633 heads of native swine, and 11,587 heads of native duck to interested farmers, farmers’ cooperatives, and cooperator farms as of September 15.
The development and upgrading of BAI- and RFO-managed farms and stations were also prioritized by the DA-NLP to produce stocks for livelihood programs and during calamities. This initiative has produced and distributed 56,999 heads of livestock and poultry animals to various beneficiaries.
The DA-NLP’s Unified Artificial Insemination Program (UNAIP) also presented optimistic results with 86,689 calves produced and 108,389 semen straws distributed nationwide.
The 3rd National Livestock and Poultry Month, which coincides with the International Rural Women on October 15 and the World Food Day on October 16, also features a week-long exhibit at the DA Central Office lobby highlighting five Filipina livestock farmers and poultry raisers who have contributed to the attainment of agricultural development, food security, and women empowerment.
Meat and dairy products are also available at the DA corridors throughout the week, courtesy of the DA livestock attached offices, Milka Krem, Sta. Maria Dairy – Catmon Multi-Purpose Cooperative, North Star Meat Merchants, and Eureka Food.
Among the DA officials present during the opening ceremony were Undersecretary for Livestock Deogracias Victor Savellano, Assistant Secretary and Chief-of-Staff Rex Estoperez, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Department Legislative Liaison Officer Genevieve Velicaria-Guevarra, DA-NLP Director Dr. Ruth Miclat-Sonaco, DA-BAI Director Dr. Paul Limson, DA-NDA Administrator Dr. Gabriel Lagamayo, DA-PCC OIC-Deputy Executive Director Dr. Claro Mingala, DA-Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries OIC-Executive Director Julieta Opulencia.
By virtue of Special Order No. 411, series of 2021, the Department celebrates the National Livestock and Poultry Month every October, coinciding with the World Day for Farmed Animals on October 2. ### (Krystelle Ymari A. Vergara, DA-AFID)