Albert Lim Jr., president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers
considers the low demand and the increase in pork importation by meat traders,
as the primary causes of the industry's problems. "The current situation is
unprecedented, and has significantly affected the whole hog industry," said Lim.
Farm gate prices
While farm gate prices have gone
down significantly, it is not reflected in the pricing at the markets, which
also affects the consumers' buying power. Farm gate prices currently average at
a high of P82 per kilogram and a low of P78 per kilogram. Before the Holy Week,
the average price was between P115 to P117 per kilogram.
Lim pointed out
that pork is still selling in the wet markets at an average of between P150 to
P175 per kilogram, "turning off many consumers who are already suffering from
the hike in the prices of basic commodities."
While it is traditional
for farm gate prices to go down after the Holy Week, it has not stopped going
down. "It did go down, slowly in the beginning, but we did not expect it to
continue until now," Lim said. Information
It has been reported that members of the NFHFI's Council of
Presidents have suggested that the Department of Agriculture come out with an
information campaign to inform consumers of the right pricing for pork products.
The Agriculture department can post the SRP of pork products outside the
wet markets so consumers are aware of the prices of pork and can themselves call
the attention of the retailers.
"We have no control over the traders and
the retailers, but as consumers, we can tell retailers that they should be
selling their products at the right price," he said. "This way, everyone comes
out a winner as consumers get lower prices and will buy more pork and producers
can sell more hogs." Domino effect
Lim said if the
current trend of low farm gate prices is not addressed, it will have a domino
effect in the pork production all over the country.
He added: "This
situation is a double whammy for hog producers, especially those who were hit by
the swine diseases last year. Now that they have recovered from the effects of
the disease, they cannot sell their hogs because of the low farm gate prices and
low demand." The situation is prompting many hog farms to contemplate shutting
down their businesses due to the high cost of production. Click here for
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