THE Provincial Government of Negros Occidental is pushing for a more competitive farmer-raisers, especially for swine, to maintain its lead in the country's livestock and poultry production.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who led the opening of the Livestock and Dairy Fair at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City on Saturday, April 22, urged anew participating animal raisers to strengthen their value-adding practices.
Marañon said that value-adding equips raisers to be more competitive and up to the challenges which the local industry is currently facing.
"The current low prices of swine among auction markets in the province caused by unscrupulous traders has been affecting our farmer-raisers," the governor said, adding that value-adding provides the latter another market where they can also sell their products at a higher price.
Most animal raisers associations in the province are now doing value-adding, or the practice of enhancing their products like meat processing before offering it to the buyers.
Through the Marketing Support and Postharvest Facility for Livestock and Poultry Associations project of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), the Provincial Government earlier distributed almost P6.4-million worth of various projects to different animal raisers associations.
Released were a unit of double-decker pig carrier and refrigerated meat van as well as meat shop packages.
The projects are intended to equip livestock raisers in increasing their income and producing more quality meat products.
In his speech, Marañon vowed for more support to local raisers, particularly post-harvest facilities, to further boost their value-adding operations.
Marañon also directed Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena to strengthen the implementation of animal livelihood and genetic program to cover more beneficiaries and ensure quality stocks.
"We have to change the system and make sure that the raisers are the ones earning more," he added.
For her part, Cynthia de la Cruz, president of the Alliance of Hog Raisers Associations in Negros Occidental (Ahrano), lauded the support of the Provincial Government.
De la Cruz also urged Ahrano members to improve their respective productions, and continue to be active partners of the province in developing the local swine industry.
Negros Occidental is currently the number one producer of backyard swine in the country.
During the Livestock and Dairy Fair opening, the province also distributed P12.6 million worth of projects to 17 recipients, mostly local government units (LGUs).
The projects included free-range chicken multiplier farms worth P2.4 million, pekin duck multiplier farms - P2.7 million, bull house - P2.5 million, and animal rescue center - P5 million.
Also, the activity was highlighted by the parade of lechon dubbed "Lechonaad." At least 80 lechons dressed with various themes were showcased by more than 30 local hog raisers associations.
This year's fair is themed "We are Prolives: Producing Livestock, Providing Livelihood, Improving Lives."