Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — The Ministry of Agriculture has established an academic partnership with an American university as part of its fight against animal diseases such as the dreaded African swine fever (ASF).
In a statement released Friday, the DA confirmed the signing of a three-year memorandum with the University of Minnesota (UNM) to “build nationwide capacity against transboundary animal diseases (TADs).” The agency signed the MOU through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the National Livestock Program (LNP).
The academic partnership involves knowledge sharing with the exchange of professors, scientists and technical personnel and the conduct of joint conferences, symposia and other activities, according to the department.
The Philippines and the United States stand to benefit from the agreement, as it combines research and practice in the detection of TADs with employment and compliance with global standards for trade in animal products.
The DA’s veterinary experts will visit the UNM later this year to draft the specific terms of the partnership.
African swine fever first hit the Philippines in July 2019, prompting many backyard farms in several provinces to cull their livestock, and authorities to impose restrictions in the transportation of pigs and pork products. pork, which has seriously affected the country’s pork industry.
The DA has since carried out programs such as restocking and assisting affected farmers.
In mid-July, 33 cities and towns were placed in yellow zones or surveillance zones adjacent to pink zones.
The pink zones refer to the buffer zones and come just below the red or African swine fever infected zones. There are currently 204 zones that have been upgraded to the pink zone.