Nueva Ecija farmers urged to venture into backyard hog, poultry farming

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, June 6 (PNA) — Novo Ecijanos were encouraged to venture into backyard livestock farming, particularly in raising hogs and chicken, by a popular feed mill firm amid report on massive shortage in local meat production.

Pilmico, a food subsidiary of Aboitiz, asked farmers to embrace backyard farming as “sustainable form of livelihood for locals” when it distributed piglets to selected beneficiaries with full cycle feed consumption.

Hendel Cabral, Pilmico vice president for Feeds Sale, said the activity was part of the company’s advocacy in promoting backyard raising that will create livelihood opportunities to every farmer.

The program, he said, also provides seminar and trainings to interested resident.

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He said Pilmico donated 20 piglets to 10 backyard farmers in the province as part of its “Mahalin Pagkaing Atin” (MPA) campaign.

MPA promotes sustainable entrepreneurship, homegrown produce, and instills a “pride of product, pride of place” mindset for both the farmers and consumers, he added.

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The distribution and seminar held Thursday at the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology covered court was preceded by a forum among producers, consumers, traders and the media and government agencies at Plaza Leticia Restaurant.

Dr. Ernesto Romero, provincial veterinary officer, said that backyard raising has drastically declined since 2009-2010 when the hog industry suffered a big blow from an animal respiratory disease called Porcine Respiratory Repo- Syndrome (PRRS).

Thus, Nueva Ecija market had to get at least 70 percent of its 2,000 hogs weekly requirement from Bulacan and other adjoining provinces.

With backyard farming, according to Romero, Nueva Ecija can produce some 200,000 hogs at any given time considering its previous production record.

The government, Romero said, is now inclined to support hog farming but on native or black ones.

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Dr. Oliver Papag, assistant vice president Feeds Sales Luzon, said their company wanted to provide a link among stakeholders.

In 2004, the flour and feeds manufacturer spent approximately PHP14 million on its corporate social responsibility initiatives, benefiting more than 6,000 Filipinos, a company statement showed.

Papag said that food and livelihood expo in Nueva Ecija in agricultural area where livestock and poultry production are prevalent and economically important.

Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations showed that more than 80 percent of hog production is from backyard farms.

Besides distribution of piglets and seminar, the firm also conducted cooking and baking demonstration which featured popular chef Boy Logro, and showcased different flavors of the province’s delicacies.

To date, Pilmico has donated 171 egg machines, 96 piglets and 14 agriposts to help families residing in areas of tragedy, poverty, and conflict throughout the country.

These include the areas of Bohol, north Cebu, Ormoc, Palo, Carigara, Baybay, and Tacloban City in Leyte, Capiz and Pampanga. (PNA)#