Quality: Winning edge in swine raising
By Mabelle R. Ilan


Swine raising ten years ago was quite different from how it is today. Much has changed especially on the technologies practiced the breeds and even the raiser’s perception. This was observed by couple Rafael and Mergie Moraleda of Daet, Camarines Norte one of the region’s A1 swine raiser. They started with 2 heads in 1990 and saw the potential of swine raising.

They were both livestock inspectors of the Department of Agriculture in Camarines Norte until the devolution of employees took effect with the implementation of the Local Government Code or RA 7160 in 1998.

The turn of events challenged them to leave the government service and venture into livestock production business. In 1994, they expanded to 50-sow level after obtaining a production loan from Land Bank of the Philippines. After a year, they were able to pay the bank and expanded their agribusiness to 100 sow-level.

Today, the farm has further expanded into a 150 sow-level out of their 10.5 million loan from the Agriculture Comprehensive Enhancement Fund or ACEF.

The husband and wife team was determined to keep the business afloat. They look for technologies that would fit their budget and at the same time suitable to the place.

Their farm is located in a 3.5-hectare lot located at Calasgasan, Daet, Camarines Norte. They now have 8 housing units, feed mixer, feed mill, and a new breeder house. They also installed farrowing stalls and provided adequate space and ventilation for growing-finishing pigs.

In preparing the lay-out and design of the farm Rafael or Raffy considered distances of adjacent buildings to facilitate transferring of pigs from one building to another.

One of the important factors to consider in swine production is the availability of feeds. But for the Moraleda couple feeds were never a problem because the farm mixes its own feeds. Sometimes they source out feeds from their family-owned RNM Poultry and Agricultural supply. Raffy maintains a regular feeding schedule, which is 7am and 3 pm.

Water on the other hand is sufficient as they have deep well for drinking and cleaning.

Manures are collected dried and mixed with carbonized rice hull and later made into organic fertilizer. Since hog manure abound in their farm they use these as organic fertilizer. Raffy disclosed that odor and flies are controlled in the farm because of the effective microorganism or EM. He regularly sprays the surrounding and also the manure to eliminate odor.

According to Raffy, sanitation is a must to prevent swine diseases. He conducts regular vaccination for the herd and keeps records of his vaccination program and reproductive performance.

He also upgrades his stocks to ensure quality piglets and animals. Raffy believes in quality so he also promotes and practices quality control. The Moraleda farms produce weanlings, fatteners and breeders. Weanlings are sold to Local Government Units with programs on livestock restocking and to interested animal raisers. They also raise fatteners for slaughter.

Marketing is important, Moraleda farm has a contract with Lehman one of the biggest meat shop in Naga and Daet to supply 75 heads of fatteners every month. Aside from this, they also have their own meat shops one is located in Pasig, Daet, Camarines Norte in front of the elementary school and another one located at downtown Daet.

Mergie is in charge of the financial management of the business. According to her their daily income from the meat shop ranges from P15,000 to P20,000 daily.

Out of their income from the piggery they were able to buy two (2) units delivery trucks and two cars. They also opened an agricultural supply store, a sari-sari store, an apartelle with 15 bedrooms and a function room that could accommodate 100 guests. They were able to send their children to school and two of them already finished college and post graduate courses.

Raffy declared that it is important to be updated with new technologies when you venture into this kind of business.

Moreover, the couple is active in civic organizations like the Rotary Club. They were recipients of leadership and achievement awards and citations. Raffy is past president of the Rotary Club of Daet North and Mergie is currently the Vice president of Red Cross Daet Camarines Norte Chapter.

A plus factor for the couple is their business acumen and knowledge on livestock raising as they are both agriculture graduates major in animal husbandry.

Raffy and Mergie attributed their success to sheer determination and hardwork. They make sure that they maintain quality produce because they believe that once you hit the market and quality is maintained the business will flourish.