SAN AGUSTIN PILI CAMARINES SUR. The signing of Memorandum of Agreement for INSPIRE program between the Department of Agriculture Bicol and intended beneficiaries was held recently at the Field Operations Division Building this municipality. INSPIRE means Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion. One component of the program is the Swine Clustering which aims to institute biosecurity and disease control measures through a strong collaboration between and among the Department of Agriculture, its relevant agencies, with concerned Local Government Units (LGU), and stakeholders.

A total of Ps. 236,500,000.00 will be allocated and transferred by the DA RFO- 5 to qualified Farmer Cooperatives and Association (FCA) regionwide. The fund will be divided among 43 clusters with Ps.5.5 million allocation for each cluster namely: Albay-10 ; Camarines Norte-8 ;Camarines Sur-15 ; Catanduanes 1; Sorsogon- 9 clusters. This will aid in the successful implementation of the project entitled “Community -based Swine production through Clustering and Consolidation under the INSPIRE program. The project aims to increase local swine inventory of pork supply through production of heads finishers and provide additional source of food and income to the farmer members.

DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel Tornilla led the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement together with Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez, chief of Field Operations Division. Director Tornilla tagged the partner/collaborators as Big and small brothers and sisters to help hog raisers produce quality and adequate hogs since the supply of swine has declined resulting to high price of pork products due to the occurrence of the African Swine Fever and the pandemic. Their role as big and small brothers and sisters will serve as inspiration to those who are willing to participate.

Dir. Tornilla announced that the said project will also provide funds for the construction of modern facilities with climate- controlled system and biosecurity and provision/purchase of feeds and piglets.” Kailangan natin mag re-stock para bumalik sa dati and supply at presyo ng baboy,” he said . He thanked the involved parties for their support and participation.

Farmer Cooperatives and Associations were: Quipia Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative; Labo Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LMPC); Camarines Sur Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CSMPC); Pinoy Lingap Damayan Multipurpose Cooperative (PLDC); Talisaynon Multi-Purpose Cooperative. (B. Nunez; photos: Emil Pasumbal & Sandra Abogado)