Agrilink 2018: Ef­fi­cient value chain in the hog in­dus­try, a must for con­tin­ued growth

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THE LIVE­STOCK SEC­TOR in the Philip­pines is vi­brant. Ac­cord­ing to the Philippine Sta­tis­tics Au­thor­ity, 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,” said An­to­nio V. Ro­ces, pres­i­dent of Foun­da­tion for Re­source Link­age and De­vel­op­ment (FRLD).

“From Jan­uary to July 2017, swine pop­u­la­tion was at 12.52 mil­lion heads while hog pro­duc­tion was at 1,087 thou­sand 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 fa­cil­i­tiesas well as meat shops. “Back­yard pig farm­ers still play an im­por­tant role—in fact, 65 per­cent of the hog in­dus­try com­prise small­hold­ers. It is there­fore im­por­tant that pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing pro­cesses are stan­dard­ized to en­sure that pork prod­ucts re­main con­sis­tently of high qual­ity,” added Chen. This means that each phase in the value chain has to be fur­ther stud­ied to iden­tify gaps that can lead to in­ef­fi­ciency and in­fe­rior prod­ucts. ProPork, which works with over 48 af­fil­i­ated as­so­ci­a­tions, helps pig farm­ers ac­cess mar­ket in­for­ma­tion to bet­ter lever­age their prod­ucts while also work­ing with gov­ern­ment agen­cies and other pub­lic and pri­vate stake­hold­ers to im­prove the sec­tor’s com­pet­i­tive­ness.

“An ex­am­ple is the is­sue on smug­gling and mis­dec­la­ra­tion of im­ported pork prod­ucts that can put hog farm­ers to a dis­ad­van­tage,” re­marked Chen. “We have been work­ing with the gov­ern­ment in curb­ing pork smug­gling to ease the eco­nomic cli­mate and lure more farm­ers to trade. And now that the hog in­dus­try is once again be­ing seen as a prof­itable ven­ture, it can lead to more in­vest­ments. And as the sec­tor fur­ther ex­pands, it’s only timely that we stream­line our pro­duc­tion sys­tems.”

This year’s Agrilink, Foodlink and Aqualink, the coun­try’s pre­mier agri­cul­tural trade ex­hi­bi­tion or­ga­nized by FRLD, will highlight how the hog in­dus­try can sus­tain its growth by fur­ther im­prov­ing its sup­ply and value chains through or­ga­nized and pro­fes­sion­al­ized pro­duc­tion sys­tems. “This year’s theme is com­ing full cir­cle,” said Ro­ces. “It’s been 25 years since Agrilink started as Piglink back in 1994 in Davao City. What was once con­ceived as a live­stock show grew into the coun­try’s big­gest agribusi­ness trade ex­hi­bi­tion—a tes­ta­ment to the pos­i­tive growth of our in­dus­try.”

Agrilink 2018 is slated from Oc­to­ber 4 to 6 at the World Trade Cen­ter, Pasay City, with the theme, “Ef­fi­cient Value Chain in the Hog In­dus­try: A Must for Con­tin­ued Growth.” The event will also fo­cus on Philippine Re­gion III (Cen­tral Lu­zon), known as the coun­try’s rice gra­nary and leader in pork value chain. Agrilink’s re­gional fo­cus will cover Aurora, Bataan, Bu­la­can, Nueva Ecija, Pam­panga, Tar­lac and Zam­bales.

Sup­ported by the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, its re­gional units and al­lied agen­cies, as well as co-or­ga­nized by over 30 agribusi­ness and food or­ga­ni­za­tions, Agrilink 2018 will fea­ture lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional prod­ucts and tech­nolo­gies, live an­i­mal and plant dis­plays, as well as tech­ni­cal work­shops and in­vest­ment fo­rums.

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