Cordillera hog supply below region’s pork demand

BAGUIO CITY— The Department of Agriculture in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) said on Thursday that the region continues to have a low supply of hog because its sufficiency level remains low.

“Ang production ng baboy naman natin talaga ay kulang. As a region ang requirement ay kulang ang sufficient lang talaga dyan are the rural areas pero ang towns natin, Baguio na lang, nanggagaling talaga sa labas (Our hog production is really not enough. As a region, we are below sufficiency and it is only at the rural areas where there is sufficient supply. The towns, including Baguio, source their supply outside [the region]),” DA-CAR Regional Executive Director Dr. Cameron Odsey said during a media briefing.

He said the region has an average supply of 350,000 heads produced locally, which is not enough. He, however, did not give the exact figure of the region’s demand for hogs.

The Baguio City Veterinary Office earlier said 350 heads of a hog is butchered in the city daily to provide the needs of the residents.

Its 2017 record showed that the combined production at the 13 municipalities, mostly from backyard hog raising, totaled 48,000 heads, with the support of the provincial government through its development project that gives livelihood to indigent residents.

“Wala tayong commercial farms dito sa Cordillera sila lang naman ang makakapag produce ng marami (There are no commercial farms in the Cordillera which are capable of producing plenty),” Odsey said.

With the African swine fever (ASF) affecting several provinces in northern Luzon, which led to the culling of thousands of swine, Odsey said they have been told of a possible shortage of pork meat in the future.

“They were saying that there might be a shortage, actually internationally there is already (shortage) which is already happening in China that is why we are suggesting that we look for other sources of protein like poultry and other livestock,” he said.

As to the supply for the localities, Odsey said: “We hope that local government units will look at their trade restriction policies. What is important is suppliers are able to comply with the veterinary permit, shipping permits to be able to meet the needs of the areas where there is a limited supply.”

He said the Cordillera also has low production of chicken but clarified that there is no information on a possible shortage of poultry.

“As of now we have sufficient supply of chicken but we buy them because we are only less than 20 percent sufficient,” he said.

He added that it is only in villages where there is enough supply because residents are growing native chicken on their backyards.

Odsey advised the public to continue utilizing their backyard for food production, which is a regular practice of households in the region and even in cities where urban gardening has started to be popular.  Liza Agoot / PNA –