BAGUIO CITY – The agriculture department will bankroll the establishment of a technology-based piggery farm within a 3-hectare government property in barangay Nangalisan, Tuba, Benguet in the next 4 months to serve as the relocation site of all piggery owners in the city considering the intensified campaign of the environment department and the local government to put a stop to piggeries in the city.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong disclosed that Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol committed to facilitate the release of P10 million as a start-up capital for the cooperative that will be composed of piggery owners from Baguio and Tuba in the put up of the technology-based piggery farm while another P10 million will be earmarked to build the farm to market road leading to the site of the proposed piggery.
Magalong recently met with the affected hog raisers from the city and members of the Tuba municipal council to discuss the groundwork for the put up of the technology-based piggery farm that will be completed with the required amenities for contract growing of hogs which will have a sustainable market.
The local chief executive informed the piggery owners in the city and when their hogs are already sold, there is no reason for them to raise more pigs because of the impending stoppage of all piggeries in the city considering that the same is actually prohibited under existing laws, rules and regulations.
According to him, one of the reasons for the stoppage of piggery operations in the city is the fact that there were numerous piggeries that were discovered to be discharging their waste to the different river systems that cause the coliform level in the Balili and Bued rivers to exceed normal levels.
Earlier, the previous leadership of the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR required local piggery owners to put up their septic tanks to prevent them from directly discharging their waste to the river systems but some of the backyard pig raisers reportedly refused to comply with the earlier agreement that compelled the agency to order the total ban on the existence of piggeries in the city pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations that prohibit the presence of piggeries in highly urbanized cities.
Under the contract growing concept, the cooperative that will be organized will be required to raise certain number of hogs in a given time and sell the same to a guaranteed buyer wherein the same will be beneficial to the members of the group.
Magalong urged the full cooperation of the hog raisers in the city to the planned establishment of a technology-based piggery farm so that they will be able to sustain their source of livelihood considering that the local government does not want to put a stop on their established livelihood source but instead local officials are providing them with the alternative for them to be able to continue earning income from hog raising.
The technology-based piggery farm will be composed of air-conditioned pig pens with computerized operations among other amenities that will ensure its state-of-the-art operations.
By Dexter A. See