Promoting sustainable livelihood by fostering partnerships and creating linkages is central to Pilmico’s drive to be the Partner for Growth for our stakeholders. Occupying a strategic position in the food chain, we recognize that our role in ensuring food sustainability can only be accomplished by providing guidance, high-quality products and helping our partners achieve positive results in their own respective businesses. This is especially true when we consider our dealings with one of the most important players in the Philippine economy—the backyard farmer.
Through our various programs, Pilmico is always on the lookout for synergies that can help stimulate growth in the backyard segment and simultaneously support the communities and customers we work with.
Some time ago, when Pilmico started distributing feeds in the CARAGA region, the company was faced with a troubling concern: there was a dramatic decline of backyard hog raisers.
One of the reasons why hog raisers were not able to sustain their farming business was because of low farm gate prices, coupled with poor production performance and management practices. In fact, according to the Pork Producer’s Federation of the Philippines, Agusan del Norte is one of the provinces in CARAGA with the lowest hog price nationally, in turn forcing the province to import their meat requirements from nearby areas.
With the common goal of improving the swine industry in CARAGA, Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corp., Happy Enterprises & Resources Inc. and Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development through its Philippines Cold Chain Project (PCCP) started to work together in 2014 to address the burgeoning problem of backyard farmers in the region.
The partnership led to the implementation of a project called Pilmico / PCCP Repopulation Project. It set up a credit facility, a Genetic Material Processing Center (GMPC), offered quality gilts (female breeders), and a series of technical trainings to help partner backyard raisers to improve their performance and convert this to increased profitability.
As swine farm management issues were resolved, the team discovered that hogs from partner raisers were intentionally bought by traders at very low prices.
The team turned this problem into an opportunity to transform their existing program into a more holistic and sustainable approach, paving the way for the construction of a meat-cutting plant in May 2016.
The meat-cutting plant, inaugurated on March 9, 2017, is the first of its kind in CARAGA. It is a state-of-the-art facility that cuts, packs and distributes fresh, quality meat to Butuanons and nearby communities, provides opportunities for local employment and promotes backyard farming, thereby simultaneously growing Pilmico’s feeds business.
“Our aim to improve the swine industry in Caraga is now clearly coming into fruition with the opening of the meat-cutting plant…This meat-processing plant will provide the local backyard farmers with a market for their livestock and simultaneously give the local community access to locally grown, fresh quality meat.”
-Tristan Aboitiz, Vice President and COO for Feeds, Pilmico
The meat-cutting plant forms part of Pilmico’s main advocacy, Mahalin Pagkaing Atin. The advocacy aims to promote sustainable entrepreneurship through local produce and instill a “pride of product, pride of place” mindset for both farmers and local consumers.
Right at the core of Mahalin Pagkaing Atin’s advocacy are backyard farmers, whose noble duty is to feed the nation and the community.
With every purchase from the meat-cutting plant, the buyer is not only assured of the quality of the product; it also gives them a chance to help backyard raisers grow their business and give their families a more secure and stable future.
Together with partners, Happy Enterprises and Winrock International, this project is tangible proof of Pilmico’s longstanding commitment to become their customer’s preferred Partner for Growth and a steadfast reminder that teamwork goes a long way.
“I am convinced to sell it continuously because of the quality and the savings of the raiser – they will [greatly] benefit. Since Pilmico is very supportive to the farmers in providing technical assistance; they prove that the product will give them more savings in terms of the number of days to raise hogs and in terms of the cost.”
-Victorino Balibrea, President, Happy Resources & Enterprise Inc.
“Okay siya kay na succesful mi. Og mas maayo cya kay nka tabang cya og hatag sa amo og nindot nga materyales sa baboy, og sa Pilmico pod nga nag tabang sa amo bahin sa pagpamuhi, sakto nga pagpakaon ug maayo nga pagpamaligya. Mas sigurado na karon ang amo pakabuhi nga mo lambo. (Pilmico’s program helped us to get good genetics of hogs. They also helped us on how to care for our livestock including proper feeding to ensure an optimal selling price. I am confident that my livelihood will continue and prosper.)”
-Ronald Estillore, Partner Grower from Butuan
“The facility is a joint undertaking of Pilmico Feeds of Aboitiz Group, Happy Enterprises and Winrock International through the USDA supported Philippine Cold Chain Project (PCCP). The first meat cutting plant in Butuan aims at producing safe and hygienic meat and likewise boosts swine production in Caraga as it caters locally produced hogs from backyard raisers engaged with PCCP. Winrock-PCCP, a four year project, has two-pronged objectives, increasing productivity and expanding trade of the agricultural sector in the region.”
-Olegario Ayensa Jr., Technical Director and Acting Chief of Party, Winrock International – PCCP