BACKYARD swine from Negros Occidental has penetrated the market in Luzon, which is currently affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said the province's quarantine team has facilitated the shipment of 1,430 hogs to Tarlac, Bulacan and Manila via MT Oceanic vessel at the Bredco Port in Bacolod City Friday, October 9, 2020.
Of the number, 942 are backyard swine while the remaining 488 heads are from commercial farms totaling to about P14.3 million.
Decena said due to the devastating effect of ASF on the Luzon swine industry, the current liveweight price of hogs per kilogram went up to P185, particularly in Batangas and Bulacan.
"Our backyard raisers now enjoy the liveweight price of P100 to P105 per kilo, especially in Fifth and Sixth Districts," he said, adding that there is a bright future for pig raising in the province.
The backyard swine shipped to Luzon were specifically sourced from raisers in the towns of Hinoba-an and Cauayan, and Cities of Sipalay and Kabankalan.
This is the first hog shipment of the province to Luzon, especially in terms of backyard swine.
Prior to the ASF outbreak there, Negros Occidental only supplies swine to the Visayas market.
The provincial veterinarian said they have negotiated with Manila buyers last week, also with MT Oceanic vessel to load at the Bredco Port and prioritized Negros Occidental pigs.
In the previous weeks, the loading was at a port in Iloilo and most of the pigs were from commercial farms.
The shipment from the province was also materialized due to the high supply of backyard swine here, Decena said.
He said the vessel with the capacity to load at least 1,500 pigs per trip committed to increasing the number of vessels to transport animals from the province to other parts of Luzon.
"This is one of the gains from being an ASF-free province. Undoubtedly, it has brought economic benefits to our backyard and commercial raisers," Decena said.
It will now be a regular shipment as Negros Occidental already has a sure buyer in Manila and a vessel to transport the animals there, he added.
It is expected that the volume to be sourced out from the province will increase as the demand in Luzon constantly increases due to the swine fever.
In terms of price, the trend in the auction market is seen to be increasing due to the prevailing high demand for live pigs in Luzon.
According to the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), this is also one reason why Luzon pork traders opted to source out supply from Negros Occidental.
The province's livestock auction market price is only P100 per kilo for liveweight compared to P160 to P180 per kilo in Luzon, it reported.
As the demand will continue to increase, the province assures that it will not fall short of supply.
The PVO said it has sustained and even leveled-up its Animal Genetic Improvement Program (Pagip), which is positioned to improve the genetic makeup of local stocks.
"We have remained true to our mandate and commitment on increasing animal population through dispersal among qualified residents in the rural areas to raise animals for breeding," the PVO said.
Through Pagip, the provincial government also provides an alternative source of livelihood and helps the swine industry in the province to become highly competitive both in the local and national markets.
Decena urged all backyard raisers to go back to "pig farming" mainly because of its profitability.
Decena said the province also has to maintain the number one spot in terms of backyard swine raising in the country.
The Philippine Statistics Authority, he said, reported that Negros Occidental is the top producer of backyard swine in the country from 2017 to 2019.
The provincial veterinarian reiterated that there is a bright future for the pig market especially in Luzon, thus, the raisers must support the effort of the provincial government in maintaining its ASF-free status while they continue their swine business.
"Let us work and hope for the best in us. Pigs symbolize piggy bank for the backyard and poor raisers," he said.