Soccsksargen targeting to enter hog export market

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 4 Aug) – Hog industry stakeholders in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) are targeting to finally enter the export market, with the ongoing development of additional international-standard abattoirs in the area.

Dr. Myrna Habacon, National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS)-Region 12 director, said two companies based in South Cotabato province are currently building “triple-A” abattoirs or slaughterhouses and aiming to export pork and other meat products from the region.

She said these facilities are being put up by Biotech Farms Inc. in Barangay San Vicente, Banga town and by the Q-Pigs Livestock Corporation in Barangay Palkan, Polomolok.

The region currently has one accredited “triple-A” abattoir operated by the Matutum Meat Packing Corporation in Barangay Glamang, Polomolok.

Habacon said the establishment of the additional modern abattoirs is “good for the region” as they meant more production of export-quality meat.

“I am hoping that we can finally take off with our hog export since we had long been pushing for it,” she said in a briefing.

She said the region had an opportunity to export pork to Singapore in 2008 but it did not materialize for various reasons.

Matutum Meat Packing Corporation was cleared by Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority to ship out pork but was aborted due to the emergence then of the Ebola Reston virus in a hog farm in Luzon.

Habacon said they are making another push for the pork exports despite the challenges posed by the African Swine Fever (ASF).

After being detected in late January in Davao Occidental, the disease has since spread to other parts of Davao Region and was recently confirmed to have infected farms in Magpet, North Cotabato.

But the official said other areas in Region 12, including South Cotabato, remain free from ASF and tight control measures are being implemented to prevent its spread.

Habacon said the region currently offers the cheapest prices for meat products in the entire country and the top livestock producer.

“The potential is there for us to supply our domestic requirements and enter the export market,” she said.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the region’s production reached over 140,000 metric tons (MT) in 2019, with hogs accounting for around 118,000 MT.

In 2018, the region posted a hog inventory of 3,216,127 and cattle with 796,925. This city and South Cotabato province are the area’s top hog and cattle producers. (MindaNews)