Cebu News

Capitol eyes organic feeds policy for local hog farmers

Robhe Jane C. Yara - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  To encourage lechon makers in Cebu to patronize local pigs instead of importing from Negros island, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia eyes a policy requiring hog farmers in the province to use organic feeds in lieu of the much expensive commercial feeds.

Garcia believes that using organic feeds would bring down the cost of raising hogs in Cebu, whereby making the price more competitive for Cebuano lechon makers.

The governor noted why lechon makers prefer pigs from Negros island over locally-sourced pigs. According to her, pigs from Negros are more organic compared to Cebu’s.

Henry Llaguno, lechon maker from Cordova, confirmed that organically-raised hogs are much preferred by “lechoneros” because the taste is more palatable compared to pigs feed with commercial feeds.

“Mas lami gyud ang baboy sa Negros,” Llaguno, owner of Henry’s Lechon Haus, told The Freeman.

They are also drawn to sourcing pigs from Negros because aside from the price is cheaper, the suppliers also allow credit. Pigs in Negros are cheaper by at least P1,000 per head, Llaguno said.  

“Plus i-pautang pa gyud, sir, unya ra bayran og mahalin ang lechon,” he added. 

A team has already been tasked by Garcia to study on a policy requiring hog farmers in the province to use organic feeds. In fact, the team already has an organic feed mix formula.

The governor said she intends to tap the different sitios of the barangays to produce organic feeds. She plans to tie up the idea with her existing Sugbusog program.

The Sugbusog program or Sugbuanong Busog, Luwas ug Himsog was crafted in April 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now being implemented in all towns and cities under the jurisdiction of the province to encourage household backyard gardening.

Garcia said they are looking into incorporating kangkong (water spinach), duckweed, and other plants suitable for pig feeds.

"Adto na mupalit ang mga farmers ngadto sa atung mga puroks. Mas barato sad ni. Patun-an na nako run unsay length of time nga mag gasto ka, magpalit ka’g feeds gyud pila puy cost ug unya pila pud imong kita. Patun-an sad nako (ang) length of time nga kaning organic feeds atong ihatag, definitely mas mubo ug pila say kita," said Garcia.

Garcia said she would also instruct the use of pig dungs as organic fertilizer for farmers. All mayors in the province will be required to strictly implement the policy by not issuing mayor’s permit to hog farmers who would not use organic feeds.

Llaguno welcomed the plan and is hoping that it will bring down the price of local pigs.

“Wala may problema ang supply sa baboy sa Cebu mahal lang gyud kaayo ang presyo,” Llaguno said.

Meanwhile, Llaguno said the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in some areas of Cebu, especially Carcar City, has greatly affected the lechon business.

Llaguno used to sell an average of 50 to 60 lechons a week but because of the ASF the number drastically dropped to at least three to five a week.— FPL (FREEMAN)

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