Backyard hog-raising in PH gets attention-A A +A
Sunday, September 1, 2013
"BACKYARD swine raising is a good way to augment your income," said John Paul Pangilinan, feeds marketing manager of Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corporation (Pilmico). "It takes very little effort to put up a backyard piggery. In fact, people in the rural areas can raise a pig or two in a small space."
The increasing meat consumption, particularly pork, has driven Pilmico to scale up backyard swine raising in the country.
"Seventy percent of hog raisers in the Philippines are backyard," noted Hendel Cabral, Pilmico vice president for sales and sales support.
Based on the company's assessment, they found out that most of those who raise livestock are deterred by lack of capital and technical knowledge.
"We are here to change that," pointed out Pilmico president Sabin M. Aboitiz.
Pilmico launched the Diamond Program to help its customers' partner for growth by educating them on proper livestock backyard raising.
"The program is an integrated approach towards successful swine farming anchored on the four pillars of complete health care, breeding and genetics, sound management and excellent nutrition," Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan said that Pilmico specifically provides solutions related to excellent nutrition, "although, we can never stress enough the importance of the three other pillars since we also maintain our swine farm operations," he said. "Thus, we also translate our best practices into small-scale backyard versions."
Feeds constitute almost 80 percent of the production expenses of swine-raising.
"For this reason, it is highly important that economical, as well as nutritionally balanced diets are provided during all phase of the life cycle," wrote W.G. Pond and J.H. Maner, authors of "Swine Production in Temperate and Tropical Environments."
"The pigs should be given rations appropriate for their ages and their physiological conditions," said Roy Alimoane, the director of the Davao-based Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center. "If these are considered, good animal performance is ensured and unnecessary expenses are avoided. In addition, punctuality and regularity of feeding will have to be observed strictly."
Hog concentrates, which provide protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, are given as a major feed. Sweet potato tops, kangkong, and other green leafy feeds are to be given only as supplements. Fresh leftover from the kitchen are good food for the pigs. They may be rice or corn, gills and entrails of fish, papaya and banana peelings, and other scraps.
Although pork consumption in the country has gone up, the number of backyard swine raisers has gone down. Statistics show an eight percent decline from 9.8 million backyard raisers in 2008 to only eight million in 2013.
"We have noticed that a lot of backyard raisers have the capacity and the facility to raise pigs but a substantial number are vacant," Cabral noted. "Then tend to get discouraged once their backyard farms do not yield."
During the recent Pilmico Poultry and Livestock Expo held in Lingayen, Pangasinan, it was discovered that most backyard raisers do not have proper knowledge and skill about nutrition and management - even the maintenance of their facilities.
Pilmico, a subsidiary of Pilmico Foods Corp., hopes that through its Diamond Program, it can contribute to propping up hog production and pork supply in the country. At present, it produces 430,000 metric tons (MT) of feeds annually (240,000 MT from its factory in Iligan and another 190,000 MT from Tarlac).
"As long as we continue to consume pork and poultry and as long as Filipinos with sufficient disposable income remain to be entrepreneurial and perceive backyard hog-raising as a viable source of extra income, the feeds industry will do just fine," Pangilinan said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 02, 2013.