Responsible hog farming pushed

RESPONSIBLE hog farming and Mindanao's contribution to the country's pork industry are the highlights in this year's National Hog Convention and Trade Exhibit.

Hosted by Cagayan de Oro City, the three-day convention began on Thursday, April 12, with the theme ‘Responsible Hog Farming towards Safe and Self-Sufficient Pork Production.’

Now on its 27th year, the convention aims to emphasize the importance of keeping responsible pork production and keeping food safety a priority in all swine operations in the country.

"We are all consumers so we understand how our consumers feel about food safety and security. That's why efficient and responsible operations to ensure safety and food security form part of the critical components of our businesses," Eliseo Yu, chairman of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines Inc. (PPFP), said.

The hog convention is jointly organized by the PPFP and the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NFHFI) and also showcased several hog producers, both old and new, as well as featured innovative equipment and hog-related services; seminars on hog management and production disease prevention, among others.

"We focused on how industry players can work together to stay the course, stay on top while balancing the needs and the welfare of the public," Benjamin Albarece, the president of Northern Mindanao Hog Raisers Association Inc., said.

"This hogcon is about protecting our industry through the hogcon and all its activities," Albarece added.

On the third, April 14, the hogcon will also mark the 11th Backyard Hog Farmers Congress, an event that gives special attention to the contributions of the backyard pork producers play in the country's swine production.

ProProk President Edwin Chen, who is also the co-chairman of the hog convention, said the federation has taken note of the Mindanao commercial and backyard pork producers to the swine industry.

According to Chester Warren Tan, NFHFI chairman, Northern Mindanao has the biggest swine production in Mindanao and the third biggest production in the country.

Yu, on his part, encouraged the stakeholders to take the opportunity to upgrade "our genetics, our farm facilities, our farm health and sanitation program so that we can further improve our farm production performance."

Senator Cynthia Villar, who attended the opening of the National Hog Convention and Trade Exhibit on Thursday, has congratulated the hog producers on their efforts to keep the swine industry growing.

"Natutuwa po ako na in spite na hindi tayo masyadong natutulungan ng gobyerno, palaging maganda ang performance nyo at palaging masasaya kayo (I'm glad that in spite of the lack of help from the government, you were still able to achieve good performance and you are all in high spirits)," Villar, who is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, said.

She also mentioned that before the end of her term, she will try to pass a Livestock, Poultry and Dairy Development Law wherein a budget of P5 to P10 billion will be allocated to the livestock, poultry and dairy industries in the country.

Also present in the convention were House Committee on Cooperative Development Chairman Rico Geron, Assistant Secretary for Livestock Enrico Garzon, and Bureau of Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña.