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The Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) sees the increase in live weight price of hogs as an encouraging factor for the local growers to go back to hog raising and repopulation in Palawan.

Dr. Romeo Cabungcal, provincial agriculturist, said that as live weight price now stands at P150 per kilo, the increase of local growers was observed starting in the months of February and March. He added that Palawan, being an African Swine Fever (ASF)-free province, is also an advantage for the local growers.

“Na-encourage sila sa price na binibigay ngayon for live weight, iyon din ang isang nakakapadagdag para mag-increase sila ng population sa hog raiser. Ang isa natin advantage kasi na nagpo-provide ng motivation ay we are ASF-free. Iyang mga factor na ‘yan, iyan din talaga ang magko-contribute sa pag-increase ng number ng hogs natin,” Cabungcal said.

The Provincial Veterinary Office (ProVet) also stated in a previous report that the live weight price has recovered to P150 per kilo from as low as P80 to P90. It was confirmed by the OPA based on their observation on the ground.

“Ganoon na raw ang patak ng live weight so encouraging ‘yan on the part ng lalo ng mga small hog raisers na nag-aalaga dito sa atin sa Palawan. Encouraging factor ‘yan para mag-continue sila kasi noon nawala rin talaga sila because of some reasons na ‘yong mga concern like ASF, advantage sa province natin na (ASF free) tayo,” he said.

Cabungcal said the decrease in the population of hog growers was also caused by concerns such as the ASF threat. The lesser number of growers manifested with the hogs’ population in Palawan and later in pork supply.

Palawan towns including the Puerto Princesa City experienced scarcity in pork supply around the first quarter of 2021 as some growers preferred selling their live pigs outside Palawan as the local market cannot compensate their expenses with the previous price range of live weight per kilo.

In 2020, local veterinarians said that due to the unavailability of feeds during movement restrictions under the community quarantine, some hog raisers and large farms were also forced to dispose of their pigs at cheaper prices.

Cabungcal said this will no longer be an issue this year even with stricter restrictions being implemented due to the increasing cases of COVID-19.

“Hindi na, kasi ngayon part na siya ng essential goods iyong mga related sa agriculture, feeds and other inputs ay part na ‘yan ng essential. Napapaloob na siya doon dahil kaparte na siya ng food security program so even though nandito tayo, I think hindi na siya maapektuhan kasi noon hindi pa malinaw ang mga guidelines natin during the onset ng pandemic natin. But then ngayon, malinaw na ‘yon sa guidelines na part na yon ang essential goods,” he explained.

He added that the support coming from the national government to increase the production such as loan programs to growers and commercial farms in ASF-free areas also factors that encourage local growers to go back raising and hog repopulation.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.