Pilmico feeds Expo Draws More Than 3,000 Farmers
The 2013 Pilmico Poultry and Livestock Expo proved to be a whopping success as more than 3,000 farmers and livestock raisers from all over Northern Luzon trooped to the Capitol of Lingayen City in the province of Pangasinan recently to share the knowledge and prospects of industry experts.
“As our customers’ partner for growth, Pilmico undertook the initiative to roll-out a trial Swine Project to assess the capacity and capability of our livestock farmers,” said Pilmico President and CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz.
The two-day expo organized by Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corp., the feeds business of Pilmico Foods Corp., presented a vast array of activities that were geared towards learning.
These include various seminars illustrating the company’s four-pillar Diamond Program – improved breeding and genetics, good management, complete healthcare, and excellent nutrition – live animal displays and consultation, free gamefowl vaccination, fun and games, and a kite-flying activity, the highlight of which is an aerial sabong.
According to Hendel Cabral, Pilmico Vice President for Sales and Sales Support, livestock raising with hogs, chickens, and goats can be a profitable business, but it depends on how one would manage it.
A promising region
Pangasinan, one of the biggest sources of agricultural products for national consumption, has many of its communities depending on poultry and livestock raising as sources of livelihood.
Pilmico, the food subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, chose Pangasinan as the venue for its biggest annual event considering that the province is “very ripe in terms of its poultry and livestock raising industry’s potential.”
“About 44% of its land area caters to agriculture – rice, soy, mango, and livestock raising,” Cabral noted.
The Provincial Government of Pangasinan and the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 1 welcomed the event with much gusto as they foresee continued growth in the production of poultry and livestock in the region.
DA Region 1 OIC-Regional Executive Director Valentino C. Perdido said the entry of private companies such as Pilmico, which invest on projects and programs that benefit small-scale livestock raisers in the area, is a big contributing factor to the industry’s growth.
Last year, Region 1 attained a 3.82% growth rate, its production and livestock and poultry registered positive growth at 5.4%, and has remained self-sufficient in meat at 122%.
DA, through its Livestock Banner Program, also conducted 14 Farmer Livestock School focused on integrated goat, swine, cattle, and poultry management.
Perdido claimed that one of Pangasinan’s advantages is that it is a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Avian Flu-free region.
Pangasinan Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr., a farmer himself, likewise welcomed Pilmico’s initiatives in the province. “The event opened up opportunities to uplift the lives of our small-scale livestock farmers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the local farmers who participated in the expo expressed gratitude about the feeds producer’s trust in the potential of the region.
Avelino Abasolo, a local farmer from Urayong, Caba, La Union who currently tends to four sows in his farm, said he particularly appreciated the seminar topic on Good Management focusing on production facilities and equipment.
“Marami palang dapat i-consider sa pag-aalaga ng mga inahin. Hindi lang sa pagkain, pati pala ang pasilidad, may hustong batayan. (It occurred to me, there are a lot of things to consider in sow-raising. Not only should we focus on the feeds; even the facilities have parameters),” he shared.
Another farmer, Norma Prado from Agno, Pangasinan, said the expo has brought them knowledge, and consequently, the hope that their small business of backyard raising would soon be profitable.
During the expo, Pilmico awarded ten farmers who earlier qualified for the Swine Project’s initial rollout in the province. The pigs they raised into full-sized market hogs in a span of only 45 days were showcased and auctioned off as part of the program.
Pilmico is a subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, the publicly-listed holding and investment company of the Aboitiz Group, which has major investments in power, banking, food, and land.