Manila Bulletin

Cebu pro­duc­ers vow to boost sup­ply of pork in Lu­zon

- By CALVIN COR­DOVA Business · Agriculture · Industries · Cebu City · Central Visayas · Asturias

CEBU CITY — While there has been a re­ported de­cline in the sup­ply of pork in Lu­zon, the sur­plus in the stock of hog meat in the Visayas will al­low lo­cal pro­duc­ers here to come to the aid of their coun­ter­parts in the north.

This was pointed out by Rolando E. Tam­bago, im­me­di­ate past pres­i­dent of the Cen­tral Visayas Pork Pro­duc­ers Co­op­er­a­tive (CeViPPCo), who dis­closed that his con­tacts in Lu­zon have been reach­ing out to him since Septem­ber to help ad­dress the dwin­dling pork sup­ply in the re­gion.

Tam­bago said the op­por­tu­nity was timely be­cause, while Lu­zon is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing short­age in the sup­ply of pork, Cebu has been en­joy­ing a huge sur­plus of both live hogs and meat since the mar­ket de­mand has slowed down due to the pan­demic.

“We see this as both ben­e­fi­cial to Lu­zon and Cebu, and we are will­ing to sup­port Lu­zon with their short­age as long as we have enough here un­til the mar­ket in Cebu nor­mal­izes,” said Tam­bago, who is pres­i­dent of Vir­ginia Farms, Inc.

Vir­ginia Farms is the old­est and cur­rently the big­gest in­te­grated farm-to-ta­ble swine busi­ness in Cen­tral Visayas which op­er­ates a 360-hectare farm in As­turias town, Cebu. Vir­ginia Farms also owns The Pork Shop, the big­gest pork re­tail chain in Cebu.

Tam­bago said Vir­ginia Farms has ini­tially shipped 1,600 prime live hogs to Lu­zon, and has re­ceived more or­ders for live hogs and frozen car­casses.

He said that Cebu’s lo­cal pork con­sump­tion has de­creased since March dur­ing the on­set of the coron­avirus dis­ease (COVID19) pan­demic.

The de­mand for pork in Cebu may start to nor­mal­ize in De­cem­ber, Tam­bago said.

Bureau of An­i­mal In­dus­try (BAI) Direc­tor Dr. Ron­nie D. Domingo was thank­ful for Cebu’s help as pork de­mand in Lu­zon will fur­ther soar with the on­set of the “ber” months.

Tam­bago re­it­er­ated the im­por­tance of keep­ing Cebu free of the African swine fever (ASF).

“Cebu is the fourth largest pork pro­duc­ing prov­ince in the coun­try with the lo­cal hog in­dus­try val­ued at 111 bil­lion. The farm­ers here pro­duce 53,890 met­ric tons of pork an­nu­ally and with ma­jor pro­duc­ers in Lu­zon and Min­danao al­ready af­fected by ASF, it is im­por­tant that we pro­tect Cebu, it be­ing the re­main­ing ma­jor pro­ducer of pork with no ASF cases in the coun­try,” Tam­bago said.

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