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Iloilo Allocates Funds for Swine Dispersal to Aid Farmers During El Niño

ILOILO - The Iloilo provincial government has announced a PHP9 million swine dispersal initiative to support local farmers grappling with the adverse effects of El Niño. The program, which aims to mitigate the impact of the prolonged dry spell, will benefit 15 municipalities that remain unaffected by the African swine fever (ASF).

According to Philippines News Agency, the initiative reflects a strategic shift in agricultural assistance in response to the challenging weather conditions. By focusing on the dispersal of swine, which are less reliant on rain-dependent crops, the government seeks to provide more resilient livelihood options for the affected communities. This approach not only addresses immediate concerns related to El Niño but also contributes to bolstering the local swine industry, which has been hit by ASF-related setbacks.

The allocation of PHP9 million will be distributed between the acquisition of pigs, valued at PHP6.93 million, and the procurement of feeds, costing PHP2.07 million. Municipalities will play a crucial role in identifying eligible recipients, who will each receive two piglets to rear, enhancing their capacity to withstand economic pressures from the current climatic challenges.

Dr. Ildefonso Toledo, head of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), detailed the program's operational aspects, noting that the initiative is part of a broader effort to sustain the agricultural sector amid fluctuating environmental conditions. The impact of El Niño has already been significant, with PAO's data indicating losses of PHP526.61 million across various agricultural and fishery sectors, affecting over 10,000 local farmers and fisherfolk.

Governor Defensor emphasized the proactive nature of the government's response, acknowledging that the effects of El Niño might persist or escalate until May. The swine dispersal program is positioned as a key component of the province's adaptive measures, aiming to provide tangible support to those whose livelihoods are jeopardized by the ongoing drought.