Antique's FMD-free status propels economic growth
by EA Abasquez
San Jose, Antique (5 June) -- The province's Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) free status has helped propel the economy, said Dr. Romeo Magdato, Provincial Veterinarian. This status has enabled producers to market their produce outside of Antique at a higher price.
Livestock production, including poultry raising has been the no. 2 industry, next to agriculture, that provided income or livelihood to farmers/households in the locality.
The strict enforcement of quarantine measures, and the dedicated livestock technicians of the local government units had started to payoff.
The surveillance and monitoring conducted from the municipalities down to the barangays enabled the Provincial Veterinarian (PROVET), to have an accurate appraisal of the campaign against FMD, Magdato said. Through reports submitted, PROVET livestock industry situationer is transmitted to the regional and national levels which form part of the FMD scenario.
The World Organization for Animal Health has recently affirmed the country to be free from the dreaded foot-and-mouth disease during the 75th annual general session of the International Committee held in Paris, France last month.
Visayas and Mindanao have been declared FMD-free for more than a decade now, and Luzon for more than a year.
For this year, the Department of Agriculture already expects the country's hog industry to grow 3.5 percent as it expects a rise in trade of Philippine meat products with Singapore, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Hongkong, South Korea, Taiwan and other Asian countries.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap earlier said that aside from frozen meat, the department sees eight processed meat items to start penetrating the global market this year as the Philippines moves closer to being declared totally free of FMD by OIE. (PIA) [top]