Agriculture - - News - >BY ZAC B. SARIAN

ONCE AGAIN the much-awaited Agrilink trade show is here. This will be the 25th edi­tion of the trade show that has be­come the big­gest event of its kind in the coun­try. Based on state­ments of the or­ga­niz­ers, at­ten­dees will be able to see a lot of novel prod­ucts, ser­vices and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions in agribusi­ness.

An­to­nio V. Ro­ces, pres­i­dent of the Foun­da­tion for Re­source Link­age and De­vel­op­ment (FRLD), stated that the theme of this year’s trade show will high­light the im­por­tance of sus­tain­ing the coun­try’s agri­cul­tural growth, es­pe­cially in the hog sec­tor, by im­prov­ing the sup­ply and value chain through or­ga­nized and pro­fes­sion­al­ized pro­duc­tion sys­tems and mar­ket­ing pro­cesses.

Ro­ces said that the live­stock sec­tor in the Philip­pines is vi­brant. Fig­ures from the Philip­pine Statis­tics Author­ity re­veal that from Jan­uary to March 2018, it ex­panded by 15.46 per­cent in gross pro­duc­tion value com­pared to the pre­vi­ous quar­ter. The to­tal gross earn­ings for this pe­riod is R75.5 bil­lion at cur­rent prices. The hog in­dus­try is the big­gest con­trib­u­tor to the agri­cul­tural growth, post­ing over 16 per­cent in­crease in gross earn­ings, ow­ing to growth in pro­duc­tion and price.

In­deed, the farm-to-fork chain be­gins with in­puts to the hog rais­ers and trav­els along the en­tire pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing routes. From breed­ers to fat­ten­ers, or from op­er­a­tors to pro­ces­sors, it ends with the con­sumers who pur­chase pork and its value-added prod­ucts. Through­out this jour­ney, a com­pet­i­tive and ef­fi­cient value chain is needed to en­sure that safe and qual­ity prod­ucts reach the con­sumers.

“The live­stock in­dus­try can fur­ther tap growth op­por­tu­ni­ties by sus­tain­ing im­prove­ments in the pro­duc­tion sys­tem and in a cost­ef­fec­tive sup­ply chain. This can be com­ple­mented by en­hanc­ing the tech­nolo­gies in pro­duc­tion in­fra­struc­tures, im­prov­ing our re­search and de­vel­op­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and pro­vid­ing more farm ex­ten­sion ser­vices,” ac­cord­ing to Ro­ces.

“From Jan­uary to July 2017, swine pop­u­la­tion was at 12.52 mil­lion head while hog pro­duc­tion was at 1,087 met­ric tons, and more than 17% of these were dis­trib­uted in the Cen­tral Lu­zon re­gion,” added Edwin Chen, pres­i­dent of Pork Pro­duc­ers Fed­er­a­tion of the Philip­pines (ProPork) and chair­man of Agrilink 2018. Many of the suc­cesses of swine farm­ers in the re­gion owe to in­vest­ments that im­proved pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing ca­pac­i­ties, in­clud­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of sire and dam line nu­cleus fa­cil­i­ties. Other key in­vest­ments in­clude feed mills, hous­ing equip­ment, waste man­age­ment and an­i­mal health in­puts, slaugh­ter­houses, cut­ting floor and pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties, as well as meat shops.

“Back­yard pig farm­ers still play an im­por­tant role—in fact,

Back­yard hog rais­ers pro­duce about 65% of pork in the coun­try.

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