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