Conservation and improvement of Philippine native pigs is a research consortium between State Universities and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic Resources Research and Development-Department of Science and Technology (PCAARRD-DOST).
Marita Carlos of PCAARRD-DOST said, 36 Fiestas were already held around the country and they are planning to cluster it in coming activities. Holding of Fiestas includes promotion of Robusta coffee and sweet potato in the Cordillera.
FIESTA stands for Farms and Industry Encounter Through the Science and Technology Agenda, PCAARRD’s concept of pushing commercialization of theme “Black Pigs Living Astray-The Kalinga Way” which was also adopted as the trademark of their promotion program. The project is funded by PCAARRD.
Edwin Villar also of DOST said, investing on important commodities will help alleviate poverty especially in rural areas since it has impact on poor families. “Promoting native pig is a sure source of cash,” he stressed.
Felix Afable in his keynote address said DOST-PCAARRD push for the improvement of the native pig after seeing the profitability of the industry and the potentials of several strains of pigs throughout the country.
“When the project is completed, it will be able to develop a breed true to type population of Kalinga pigs with improved and predictable production performance and consistent product quality,” he said.
The goal he said must be the development of native pigs that are resilient to extreme climatic conditions complemented with sustainable production management system and sound marketing strategies that would offer viable livelihood option for farmers in calamity prone areas.
One significance of the Yookah festival is advertising the good characteristics of native pigs as ethnic food delicacy. In Kalinga, an affair or major ritual could not push through without butchering a native pig.
It also attracts tourists hence becoming customers of the native pig delicacy contributing also to the income of pig raisers.
Afable challenged KSU to stand by its commitment so that the native pig industry will be sustained and continuously improved in terms of productive and reproductive performance.
Topics discussed during the forum were updates and trends on the native pig industry, standard preparation of smoked and dried “Etag”, production and management practices of native pigs, importance of heritage animals - its conservation and utilization, development of native pig information system, and native pig genetic now and the future.
Contested activities during the festival were street dancing, on-the-spot poster making, slogan, AVP presentation, photography, cooking competition, Etag making, Asasaot making, Yookah dance craze and pig catching.
Also contested for the promotion of Robusta coffee is the cupping competition, Kirog and Bayo. (PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga)
By Peter A. Balocnit