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Agriculture

This farmer raises hogs sans the odor

- Vishia Mae Dominic J. Tolcidas -

Ramon Dayrit Peñalosa Jr., owner of Peñalosa Farms in Negros Occidental and a Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) of the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC), can afford not to wash the pigs in his farm.

Yet his neighbors are not complaining, thanks to his unique cultural management practices that make the farm almost odor-free and environment-friendly.

How it all began

Peñalosa’s venture into hog raising began in 2000. With an abundance of ’kangkong’ growing in a swampy part of his property in Victorias City, he thought of raising pigs on the fodder. Since then, the swine farm has grown bigger and become profitable. Peñalosa credits the success of his swine culture to probiotics.

Probiotics are formulations of beneficial organisms and enzymes as well as vitamins and minerals added to the animal feed. Pro-biotics contain good bacteria that improve the immune system of the pigs, preventing harmful bacteria to cause foul odor and di-seases. Because of this, the swine farm requires no commercial disinfectant as footbath and no antibiotics except the hog cholera vaccine. Importantly too, the use of probiotics allows the raiser to let the animals be without having to wash them regularly as is the usual practice in commercial farms.

However, he warns would-be adopters that “going into probio-tic swine production requires a major change in the way a farmer would conventionally raise swine.”

While feed preparation alone can be labor-intensive, it surely cuts costs and ensures quality meat products, highly recommen-ded for public consumption, the farmer scientist said.

Agri-tourism site

Aside from probiotics, Peña-losa’s other innovations made his farm a frequently visited destina-tion in Negros Occidental, earning it the distinction as the province’s agri-tourism site.

For instance, he allows the hog manure to mix with rice hull that serves as flooring of low-cost pens made of semi-permanent and light materials. Underneath the rice hull are layers of biodegra-dable materials, such as chopped banana trunks, mill ash, mud-press, shredded rice straw, sugar-cane tops, fruit and vegetable peelings, leaves, and weeds, found in his farm that are allowed to decompose.

After about four to five months or when the pigs’ live weight reaches 85 to 90 kilograms, the fattened pigs are harvested. The decomposed materials are also collected, which are then made into organic fertilizer, making the farm zero-waste, cost-efficient, and highly productive.  – WESVARRDEC RACG-FITS S&T Media Service

AGRI

FARM

MAGSASAKA SIYENTISTA

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL

NTILDE

PROBIOTICS

RAMON DAYRIT PE

T MEDIA SERVICE

VICTORIAS CITY

WESTERN VISAYAS AGRICULTURE AND RESOURCES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CONSORTIUM

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