BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The backyard hog trade in Negros Occidental is growing with the increasing demand for pork in Manila and Luzon due to the continuing threat of the African swine fever, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said yesterday.
The Provincial Veterinary Office assisted in the first shipment of 1,430 heads of live pigs to Manila, Tarlac, and Bulacan yesterday at the Bredco port in Bacolod City, he said.
Of the number, 942 pigs were supplied by backyard raisers from Hinoba-an, Cauayan, Sipalay City, and Kabankalan City, he said.
Decena said he expects the number of exported pigs to rise further as demand in Luzon continues to increase.
He said the vessel can accommodate more than 1,500 pigs per trip and has committed to increase the number of ships to transport hogs from the province to Manila and other parts of Luzon.
“This has brought economic benefits among our Negros Occidental hog raisers, both from the backyard and commercial farms. The demand will continue to increase and, for sure, we will not fall short of supply as the province, through the PVO, has sustained and leveled up its animal genetic improvement program,” Decena said.
He said that over the years, the province had increased animal population through dispersal among qualified residents in rural areas to raise animals for breeding under the Provincial Animal Genetic Improvement Program.
He added the program provides an alternative source of livelihood, as well as help the swine industry of the province to become highly competitive in the local and national markets.
“Aside from the ASF threat, Luzon and Manila pork traders opted to source out the supply of pigs from the province since our livestock auction market price is only P100 per kilo live weight as compared to Luzon, at P160 or P180 per kilo live weight,” he said.*