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Editorial | Accurate information needed

There will always be people who will take advantage of those who are vulnerable even in times of crisis.

With the African Swine Fever crippling hog raisers in some towns in Davao Occidental and in two barangays here in the city, many fear that the infection will be widespread due to the sheer number of pigs infected and culled.

But in the north side of the city, it was monitored that unscrupulous people are pressuring backyard hog raisers to sell their hogs at bargain prices.

A specialist from the Agriculture Training Institute in the region said they received reports that some backyard hog raisers were said to have been approached by people who claimed to be from government. These people then introduce the farmers to a buyer who is willing to buy the live pig for a give-away price since the ASF will infect them anyway. Richel Zamora of the training institute said during the Livestock Forum last Saturday, that these people do not buy pigs weighing 90 kilos and above, saying these pigs are no longer affected by ASF. (See front story).

Whether many hog raisers were duped by this scam was not clear. But if they were monitoring the news about the spread of ASF and the efforts done by government at the local level to prevent further infestation, they would have called the bluff.

They should have known that the outbreak was in the barangays of Lamanan and Dominga, both belonging to the third district and more than 10 kilometers from Bunawan. They should have known that the agriculture department is working closely with the local executives in monitoring the spread of ASF through the 1-7-10 lockdown protocols and fixed checkpoints.

The ASF outbreak is not a laughing matter. Its impact on farmers and the economy will have a long term effect. What farmers can do to mitigate the industry disaster is to get accurate information from concerned agencies and local executives so they won’t be vulnerable to people wanting to cash in on this difficult situation.

Being properly informed and vigilant will keep farmers safe from scams.

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