Iloilo hosts milestone hog industry congress

Agriculture officials and hog industry leaders taste lechon choppings during the 30th Hog Convention and Trade Exhibits in Iloilo City last April 18.

Iloilo City marked a significant milestone in the Philippines’ agricultural sector with the opening of the 30th Hog Convention and Trade Exhibits on April 18.

Hosted at the Iloilo Convention Center, this event was spearheaded by the Pork Federations of the Philippines Inc. (PFPI) and the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NFHFI), bringing together veterans and newcomers in the hog farming industry.

Embracing the theme “United for Inclusive Growth in Pork Production towards Food Security and Sovereignty,” the congress spanned three days, packed with trade exhibitions displaying the newest veterinary products, state-of-the-art equipment, and hog-related services.

The event also featured seminars aimed at boosting the productivity and profitability of pork producers across the nation.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr., in his address, praised the Filipino pork producers for their resilience and unity, which play a pivotal role in the nation’s food security efforts.

He emphasized that the collaboration is key to ensuring that every Filipino has access to safe, nutritious, and locally-produced pork.

Secretary Laurel also highlighted the DA’s goal to reduce pork importation and its efforts to bolster abundant agriculture across the country, which in turn supports the livelihoods of many and contributes to national prosperity.

A notable announcement made by Secretary Laurel at the congress was the impending rollout of the Cold Examination Facilities for Agriculture (CEFA) in eight strategic locations across the Philippines.

This initiative is a major step towards combating the smuggling of imported agricultural goods and preventing transboundary agricultural diseases, thereby safeguarding the quality of locally-produced pork.

Senator Mark A. Villar noted the critical importance of the swine industry, which represents 55% of the total animal industry in the Philippines.

With an estimated swine population of 9.86 million as of September 2023, the majority are raised on small farms.

Senator Villar underscored the industry’s potential for creating jobs in the countryside and its significance for agricultural advancement. He assured that the government, through the DA, is fully committed to revitalizing the hog sector.

The event was also graced by the leadership of PFPI and NFHFI, including Chairman Nicanor M. Briones, President Ronaldo E. Tambago, Chairman Chester Warren Y. Tan, and Vice Chairman Alfred Ng.

They not only led the opening ceremonies but also participated in the traditional lechon choppings, symbolizing the industry’s celebration and cultural significance. (Texts by SMHToreno & Photos by SMHToreno and KDCaldina/DA-RAFIS 6)