August 9, 2016


Philippine small hog raisers see better business 



Small hog raisers in the Philippine province of North Cotabato on Mindanao island became hopeful after they were told at the 1st Hog Raisers Forum held in Libungan town over the weekend that the government is shifting its focus on them.


"It gave them hope that the Duterte administration, through the Department of Agriculture, is looking for their welfare," said the forum organiser, Soc Piñol, a board member of North Cotabato's third district, according to the Philippine News Agency.


About 500 participants, mostly small-time hog raisers whose income have dwindled lately due to smuggled imported meat and lack of government support, were elated at reports that Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, who comes from North Cotabato, was after their welfare.


"Not only hog raisers but all farmers because that is the order of President (Rodrigo) Duterte to DA (Department of Agriculture) Secretary Piñol," the secretary's executive assistant, Bong Piñol, told hog raisers.


"We are sent here by Secretary Manny to show you that the Duterte government is serious in helping you in your farming ventures", he said. "Tell us what you need so that we may know what projects DA will extend you".


Soc Piñol organised the forum to help address issues and concerns of hog industry stakeholders.


"You need to organise yourselves so you have a strong voice and come up with hog data base system because we have better market opportunities now, not just in Metro Manila markets but among meat processors in the capital", he said.


"The demand in Metro Manila is huge but North Cotabato hog raisers are not organised and empowered to penetrate larger markets", the provincial legislator added.


He also announced that a pig buyer was willing to buy from North Cotabato about 2,000 young swine at PHP2,100 (US$44.78) each. This elated the forum participants since the prevailing buying price is only about PHP1,600 ($34.12) apiece.