The supply of swine meat in wet markets all over Western Visayas has dropped to alarming levels, and has resulted to high prices of pork.
Johnny Loces, chief of the livestock sector of the Department of Agriculture in Region 6, said that for the last three years, many backyard hog producers in the region have ceased to raise hogs mainly because of soaring costs of commercial feeds, allowing them small profit margins and, thus, they opted to close shop rather than to suffer more losses.
Backyard raising used to account for about 80-89 percent of pork sold in the region, and figures logged at DA R6 shows that for 2012, there were 1.3 million hogs raised, of which 1.1 million came from backyard purveyors.
Western Visayas is the third biggest source of pigs in the country, which translates to a 179 percent sufficient level supply for its six provinces.
To reverse the trend, the DA in Region 6 has placed in motion programs aimed at coaxing former raisers to pick up the trade again, but Loces admits it would take some time before normal pork supply is achieved.
Meanwhile, more expensive swine meat will have to stay until swine raisers have recouped losses, and hogs have reached maturity for slaughter.*PNA