BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Negros Occidental maintained its spot as the top producer of pigs in the commercial sector of Western Visayas, a post it has occupied since 1994, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.
Dr. Renante Decena, provincial veterinarian, said that in January and April, the swine population in the province was at 473,517 and 467,955 heads, respectively.
He said Iloilo had 408,270 heads in January and 406,707 in April, and Capiz with 129,786 in January and 127,681 in April.
Decena added that there was a decrease of 40,633 heads in the inventory of backyard swine population, or from 410,088 to 369,455 from January to April 2021.
The increase in commercial production by 35,071 heads, however, enabled Negros Occidental to maintain its production ranking.
FOURTH IN PH
PSA records also show that Negros Occidental steadily placed fourth in the whole Philippines in combined backyard and commercial swine production.
Decena said the swine production status of the province has been sustained by the various programs and projects initiated by the provincial government, anchored on the Abanse Negrense Development Agenda on agricultural productivity and food security.
Among these programs, he said, are the operations of four swine artificial insemination and laboratory centers and the distribution of 1,000 heads of breeder piglets to hog raisers last year.
He said that this year, the province will distribute another 500 breeder piglets and 200 pure breed gilts under its Provincial Animal Genetic Improvement Program that aims to boost further the swine productivity in Negros Occidental.
In support of the productivity efforts, the province, through the PVO, is strengthening the production base of backyard swine raisers through the expansion of hog raisers association membership with current 6,120 backyard hog raisers listed as new members of the Alliance of Hog Raisers Association in Negros Occidental, and technical assistance through trainings to backyard raisers that had leveled-up commercial production.
Meanwhile, a PVO semestral assessment held on July 1 showed that the Fortuna poultry multiplier farm in Brgy. Buluangan, San Carlos City, has registered a remarkable increase in production of free-range chicken and pekin duck.
Records show that of the original stocks of 200 free-range chicks as breeders, a total offspring of 977 heads were produced in less than a year, paving the way for the dispersal of 403 heads to qualified farmer-beneficiaries in the locality, the PVO said.
Similarly, pekin duck production recorded a ten-fold increase from the original stocks of 50 heads to 512 heads in less than a year. A total of 138 ducklings were dispersed to farmer-beneficiaries.*