Hog industry urged to end imported pork dependence

March 4, 2024 Camille P. Balagtas 121 views

SENATOR Cynthia A. Villar is upbeat that hog producers’ link and network with institutional markets such as restaurants and hotels will lessen their dependence on imported pork.

While recognizing the Filipinos’ love for pork, Villar said it is imperative for our hog producers to provide consumers with good quality pork.

“The love for pork of our kababayans will remain so we need to find a good source of juicy, tender pork with the ideal meat-to-fat ratio at affordable price,” noted Villar in her speech during the National Federation of Hog Farmers National Pig Day Celebration in Quezon City from March 1 up to 5.

The NatFed also set a Guinness Record for the most number of pork dishes on display and to be served.

Villar said Filipinos consume 15 kgs of pork, 11.6 kg of chicken and 3 kg of beef a year.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, as of September 2023, the top five regions with the highest volume of hog production at live weight are Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Northern Mindanao, Central Visayas, Davao Region and Zamboanga Peninsula.

However, Villar lamented we were not spared the challenges facing the hog industry like the African Swine Flu (ASF).

The hog sector has registered P200 billion in losses since ASF cases were recorded in 2019.

The Bureau of Animal Industry in November 2023 said that only 11 provinces out of the 82 remain ASF free. They are Batanes, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Bohol, Siquijor, Biliran, Bukidnon, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

While no ASF vaccine has been approved, Villar said “we can only rely on our good animal husbandry practices in preventing disease and disease-causing agents to spread for our hog farmers to earn, attain their maximum farm yield, protect the consumer food supply by making available clean and safe hogs for slaughter.”