Pig farmers pledge to address food security

One of the targets by the newly established Solomon Islands Pig Farmers Association (SIPFA) is to address food security in the country.

This was highlighted by the association president Paul Damry on Wednesday.

“I would like to highlight the challenges imposed by the so-called issue of climate change. This is a great phenomenon facing humankind that has greatly threatened the human food chain.

“Food security is a very important issue and the association is looking into addressing it in our nation,” Mr Damry said.

He however added, to address these essential issues effectively there are also some important issues that needs to be addressed within the industry itself.

“…today as all farmers’ experience, there is a great issue regarding the supply and pricing of pig feed in the market.

“This issue has a very big impact on farmers in raising and selling of quality pork. For example a bag of millrun now cost ranges from $90 up to $200 in shops around Honiara depending on the supply,” he stated.

He added that acquiring of piglet stock by farmers is now very difficult as all the farmers almost depend entirely on Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) for their supply.

“The current situation now is that a farmer has to wait for more than three months after bookings to get their stock.

“This is affecting the productivity in the industry and we seek the cooperation and partnership with the ministry and responsible bodies to address this issue,” he said.

Mr Damry said pig farm facilities around the country are also underdeveloped.

“We believe that to improve production and economic return on pig farming we need to get organized and move on from the traditional and subsistence mode of farming. This also includes the development of pig farming infrastructure in general,” he added.

He said marketing is also a great problem as expressed by farmers.

“That is where and how farmers are going to sell their products. This includes product recognition and competitiveness in the market.

“How do we protect our product, which means how do we protect the local industry?

“This is a great issue as we experience in the market now that there are lots of imported and cheap products on the food shelves in shops in and around Honiara,” he said.

By STEPHEN DIISANGO

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