Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - By Jo Ann Sablad

RE­SPON­SI­BLE hog farm­ing and Min­danao’s con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­try’s pork in­dus­try are the high­lights in this year’s Na­tional Hog Con­ven­tion and Trade Ex­hibit.

Hosted by Ca­gayan de Oro City, the three-day con­ven­tion be­gan on Thursday, April 12, with the theme ‘Re­spon­si­ble Hog Farm­ing to­wards Safe and Self-Suf­fi­cient Pork Pro­duc­tion.’

Now on its 27th year, the con­ven­tion aims to em­pha­size the im­por­tance of keep­ing re­spon­si­ble pork pro­duc­tion and keep­ing food safety a pri­or­ity in all swine op­er­a­tions in the coun­try.

“We are all con­sumers so we un­der­stand how our con­sumers feel about food safety and se­cu­rity. That’s why ef­fi­cient and re­spon­si­ble op­er­a­tions to en­sure safety and food se­cu­rity form part of the crit­i­cal com­po­nents of our busi­nesses,” Eliseo Yu, chair­man of the Pork Pro­duc­ers Fed­er­a­tion of the Philip­pines Inc. (PPFP), said.

The hog con­ven­tion is jointly or­ga­nized by the PPFP and the Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Hog Farm­ers Inc. (NFHFI) and also show­cased sev­eral hog pro­duc­ers, both old and new, as well as fea­tured in­no­va­tive equip­ment and hog-re­lated ser­vices; sem­i­nars on hog man­age­ment and pro­duc­tion dis­ease pre­ven­tion, among oth­ers.

“We fo­cused on how in­dus­try play­ers can work to­gether to stay the course, stay on top while bal­anc­ing the needs and the wel­fare of the pub­lic,” Ben­jamin Al­barece, the pres­i­dent of North­ern Min­danao Hog Rais­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Inc., said.

“This hog­con is about pro­tect­ing our in­dus­try through the hog­con and all its ac­tiv­i­ties,” Al­barece added.

On the third, April 14, the hog­con will also mark the 11th Back­yard Hog Farm­ers Congress, an event that gives spe­cial at­ten­tion to the con­tri­bu­tions of the back­yard pork pro­duc­ers play in the coun­try’s swine pro­duc­tion.

ProProk Pres­i­dent Ed­win Chen, who is also the cochair­man of the hog con­ven­tion, said the fed­er­a­tion has taken note of the Min­danao com­mer­cial and back­yard pork pro­duc­ers to the swine in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Ch­ester War­ren Tan, NFHFI chair­man, North­ern Min­danao has the big­gest swine pro­duc­tion in Min­danao and the third big­gest pro­duc­tion in the coun­try.

Yu, on his part, en­cour­aged the stake­hold­ers to take the op­por­tu­nity to up­grade “our ge­net­ics, our farm fa­cil­i­ties, our farm health and san­i­ta­tion pro­gram so that we can fur­ther im­prove our farm pro­duc­tion per­for­mance.”

Sen­a­tor Cynthia Vil­lar, who at­tended the open­ing of the Na­tional Hog Con­ven­tion and Trade Ex­hibit on Thursday, has con­grat­u­lated the hog pro­duc­ers on their ef­forts to keep the swine in­dus­try grow­ing.

“Natu­tuwa po ako na in spite na hindi tayo masyadong natu­tu­lun­gan ng gob­y­erno, palag­ing ma­g­a­nda ang per­for­mance nyo at palag­ing masasaya kayo (I’m glad that in spite of the lack of help from the gov­ern­ment, you were still able to achieve good per­for­mance and you are all in high spir­its),” Vil­lar, who is also the chair­man of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Agri­cul­ture and Food, said.

She also men­tioned that be­fore the end of her term, she will try to pass a Live­stock, Poul­try and Dairy De­vel­op­ment Law wherein a bud­get of P5 to P10 bil­lion will be al­lo­cated to the live­stock, poul­try and dairy in­dus­tries in the coun­try.

Also present in the con­ven­tion were House Com­mit­tee on Co­op­er­a­tive De­vel­op­ment Chair­man Rico Geron, As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for Live­stock En­rico Gar­zon, and Bureau of Cus­toms Com­mis­sioner Isidro Lapeña.

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