OFFICIALS in Negros Occidental have expressed optimism that the province's livestock and poultry industry will further improve and benefit more local animal raisers.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who spoke at the opening of the 2018 Livestock and Dairy Fair at Panaad Park in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City Saturday, said a brighter future awaits farmer-raisers in the province.
Marañon said the growing population and economic growth manifested by higher income and more employment here and abroad would surely impact positively the animal industry.
“More consumption requirement and stronger purchasing power of the consumers are good for our farmers and raisers,” he said, adding that a brighter future awaits them.
The Livestock and Dairy Fair is one of the activities for the 25th Panaad sa Negros Festival which runs from April 14 to 22.
For this year's fair, PVO has carried the 2017 theme: “Producing Livestock, Providing Livelihood and Improving Lives.”
In his speech, the governor cited that 25 years ago the province was “zero” in terms of production of various livestock and poultry animals.
“Now, we are number one in free-range, sheep, and backyard swine production in the country,” Marañon said, adding that “we are also the top dairy producer in Western Visayas.”
To sustain industry growth, he assured continuous support from the provincial government.
Marañon also underscored the impact of artificial insemination (AI) program of the province through the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO).
It has improved the genetic particularly of local hogs, which is currently benefiting raisers through its competitive market prices, he said.
“Some Australian guests said our lamb is better than those in Australia thus, the quality of our products can really compete in the world,” the governor noted.
Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who was also present at the activity, said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) also prioritizes the development of local livestock and poultry industry.
Lacson said the SP has approved the establishment of a permanent venue for the annual fair.
“This is just one way to show that the development of the animal sector is one of our top priorities,” he said, adding that “I can imagine the status of our industry in the years to come.”
Marañon and Lacson led the ceremonial cutting of lechon, which forms part of the opening ceremony of this year’s livestock and dairy fair.
For his part, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena took pride that Negros Occidental is still the second top producer of carabao in the country.
He said through the Provincial Animal Genetic Improvement Program, the province is also able to produce quality cattle.
Moreover, Decena announced that there will be an auction market, still at Panaad, on April 20.
The activity is a new feature of this year's Livestock and Dairy Fair initiated.
“Our raisers will personally sell their products to the buyers.” he said, adding that “we will teach them how to directly engage with buyers without middlemen.”