THE Board of Investments (BoI) said on Monday that it approved the registration of a P61.8-million hog breeding facility in Pampanga, adding to the industry’s capacity and ensuring the steady flow of meat products into the market.

“The new plant was approved under the Agriculture, Fishery, and Forestry sector of the Investment Priorities Plan, functioning as the transitional Strategic Investment Priorities Plan of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act or Republic Act No. 11534,” the BoI said in a statement.

Zashi Hog Farm, Inc. is located in San Ildefonso, Magalang, Pampanga.

“The new project is adjacent to its existing pork production project. The new one (operates with a) Hog Breeding Agreement (and features a) gestating building and farrowing facility specifically for the breeding, growing and raising of piglets with a standard weight of nine kilograms per head,” the BoI said.

BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said the new facility supports the hog industry, which was severely hit by the African Swine Fever, or ASF.

“With its own in-house breeding facility, the company has ensured the safety of piglets and as they grow, they will ensure a steady supply to its partner’s grow-out farm,” he said.

According to the BoI, ASF was present in 13 regions, 51 provinces, 676 municipalities and 3,626 barangays as of the end of January.

“The country’s hog inventory dipped by about three million as of early 2021,” it noted, citing the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Citing data from both the Department of Agriculture and the PSA, the investment promotion agency said the hog industry is a P245-billion market, “accounting for 44% of the livestock and poultry sector.”

“As of 2020, the Philippines was the 14th largest pork producer in the world, and was the second largest producer in Southeast Asia, next only to Vietnam,” it added.

Executive Order (EO) No. 133 issued in May 2021 temporarily raised the pork import quota, known as the minimum access volume, to 254,210 metric tons from 54,210 to address increasing pork prices.

The hog and meat industry had opposed the proposed extension of the EO, asking the government to instead support domestic producers to improve supply.  — Arjay L. Balinbin