Backyard hog raisers asked: Grow your pigs to 130 kilos-A A +A
Saturday, October 27, 2012
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) encouraged small hog raisers to grow their backyard animals to at least 130 kilos in order to supply major meat processors with pork fats and skin.
DA assistant secretary for livestock Davinio Catbagan made the call during the opening of the 14th Davao Trade Expo (Date) at the SMX Convention Center Thursday, saying that major food processors in the Philippines like the CDO and Purefoods are sourcing fats from other countries because local hog raisers cannot supply them with the necessary raw materials for their processed meat products.
He said hog raisers do away with fats and skin because these are two parts of the pork that are no use for them and cannot even earn them additional revenue. These parts cannot be sold at the wet markets since consumers only buy the lean mean for consumption.
For the meantime, the DA official said the country's meat processing firms have to import those fats and skins by large volumes at 76 million to 100 million kilos a year. The major exporters of those raw materials to the Philippines are countries United States of America (USA) and Canada.
Catbagan said backyard raisers usually sell hogs to market when they reach 80 kilos either to steer clear of overspending or just want to avoid crowding the housing facilities by dispatching the fully-grown pigs to wet market in order to give way for piglets.
"So the very problem, they say their money is already spent as a capital and that they cannot anymore spend more money to feed their pigs," he said.
But 80 kilos are even way below the ideal weight of 130 kilos for each pig, according to Catbagan. He said if the housing facilities are the problems, the backyard hog raisers then should restructure the traditional way of raising hogs.
The Philippine hog raisers can actually supply the market with a total of 24 million of hogs a year, which are mostly slaughtered even below the ideal weight. Catbagan said it only takes about 10 percent of that in order to supply the meat processors and even produce excess fats and skin for export.
Catbagan said the government is planning to set up a triple-A abattoir in the city in a bid to put in place a facility for export in the city, which will cater even the other provinces in Davao Region.
The triple-A abattoir will cost about P70 million, which will be one of the fruits of the government’s public-private partnership. The slaughter house will have cutting floors and cold storage facilities and can accommodate about 800 pigs a day.
Through the abattoir, the necessary fats and skin can be taken from the pigs for domestic consumption. Pork fat is one of the fundamental ingredients for hotdogs and corned beef. (Antonio L. Colina IV)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 27, 2012.