LOCAL requirements will come first.
This was the assurance of Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative president Paul Holaysan following the reported dwindling supply of pork in Luzon which caused prices to spike anew.
“For Cebu we have enough supply for our local consumption. We are supplying Luzon, but we would prioritize our own local requirements,” Holaysan told SunStar Cebu.
A national report said prices of pork products such as pork belly have soared to as high as P380 to P400 a kilo in major public markets in Metro Manila, way higher than the suggested retail price of P225 a kilo.
Agriculture advocacy group Sinag was quoted in the same report as saying that the African swine fever (ASF) affected 70 percent of pork supply in Luzon, prompting buyers to source from Mindanao and Visayas.
The population of hogs in Luzon went down from 6.2 million to 1.5 million due to the ASF.
The local hog industry has so far lost a total of P56 billion to ASF in the whole country, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.
To date, 25 of the 81 provinces have been affected by ASF with almost 350,000 pigs culled since the ASF outbreak in the country in September 2019, the agency said.
“We see that by the middle of this year, even Mindanao will find it hard to supply Luzon, so we will have to rely on Visayas. Prices will rise even more because more buyers will be competing for supplies from that area. So prices will rise even more,” said Sinag chairman Rosendo Go in Tagalog.
Earlier the DA assured the public that pork products are sufficient until December 2020 and onto the first quarter of 2021.
In a report to DA Secretary William Dar, the DA’s National Livestock Program (NLP) said more than 213,500 hogs from the Visayas and Mindanao were shipped to Metro Manila and nearby provinces since May 2020 to augment the supply of pork and pork products. / JOB WITH KOC