URBAN FARMER | Opportunities for the local swine industry

BY JULIO P. YAP JR.

Friday, April 21, 2017

 

 

THE local swine production is a staggering P191-billion industry. In fact, it is considered the largest among the livestock and poultry industries of the Philippines.

Swine production even ranks next to rice with 18.28 percent contribution to the total value of agricultural production.

The Philippine swine industry is ranked eighth in the world in terms of the volume of pork production and number of breeding sows.

It plays a major role in ensuring the country’s food security by providing about 60 percent of the total animal meat consumption of the Filipinos.

But do you know that majority or about 65 percent of the pigs in the Philippines are kept by smallhold pig raisers?

And despite being dynamic and technologically advanced, the local pig industry is still confronted with inefficiency of production.

This is because of low sow productivity, high mortality due to inefficient diagnostic tool, and lack of native pig genetic resource conservation, improvement and utilization initiative.

To address these concerns, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCAARRD-DOST) supported various research and development initiatives through the Industry Strategic science and TechnologyProgram (ISP) for Swine.

The program aims to address the current problems by developing technologies and systems that are expected to improve the productivity and production efficiency of the swine industry in the country.

Through these initiatives, the program seeks to create new opportunities and increase the overall competitiveness of the Philippine swine industry.

To increase sow productivity, the Philippine Carabao Center and Bureau of Animal Industry, in partnership with the Accredited Swine Breeders Association of the Philippines, developed the application of gene markers in breeding and selection of breeder pigs.

This activity has optimized 10 gene marker protocols associated to high litter size, fast growth rate, and meat qualities, as well as seven markers for screening of genetic defects and disease resistance.

The adoption of the gene marker technology by the swine breeder farms is expected to increase productivity and efficiency in terms of the number of pigs weaned and liveweight produced per sow per year.

And to address the problem on high mortality due to diseases, researchers from the Central Luzon State University developed six LAMP protocols for common swine respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens causing diseases.

These diseases include Pasteurella multocida, Haemophilus parasuis, Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Cryptosporidium sp., Salmonella sp., and the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus.

In response to the need to implement a pork traceability system from pen to plate, a computer software system was developed for tracking animals inside the farm, and from the farm to the slaughterhouse gate by using radio frequency identification.

To detect the presence of other meat aside from pork in a product, a DNA-based species authentication technology was developed.

The technology can detect meat from pig, cattle, goat and horse.

For the development of the native pig breeds in the Philippines, an initial breeding population was established and criteria for selecting of breeder native pig were developed./PN