MSC Torrijos ‘Markaduke’ now on its profitability testing at the farmers’ field

The Native Pig Research and Development (R&D) Program, a flagship initiative of Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) based in Marinduque State College (MSC) Torrijos Campus, is now ringing reputation in livestock raising and production in the country not just in the State, Universities and Colleges (SUC’s) but as well as in its industry.

Being featured in countless newspaper items, agriculture magazine and radio broadcast, this countrywide program of DOST-PCAARRD is indeed, making a wide market strategically and innovatively. The improved genetic line of native pig is now known as “Markaduke” which means mark of Marinduque and synonymously could be noted as “marka or tatak ng Marinduke (Marinduque)”.

With countless paper presentations and publication to reputable journals, the R&D program on Strategic Interventions for Sustainable Production of Marinduque Native Pig which started on July 2018 is now on its implementation of intensive performance and profitability testing at a farmers’ field (Project 2). This is one of the program components along with the improvement of productive and reproductive performance of nucleus breeders (Project 1) as well as the sustainable production of feeds (Project 3).

For Markaduke to reach the large numbers of farmer cooperators, they conducted a Stakeholders Forum and 4th R&D Team Meeting at the MSC Torrijos Branch on July 18, 2019. The forum was attended by different farmer cooperators from Torrijos, students, faculty members and personnel of MSC.

The Governor of Marinduque Presbitero Velasco, Jr. who commended the program for attaining major accomplishments which have now gone far was impressed with the Markaduke Lechon as it is clean, fresh and organic.

Accordingly, its development and progress will open for the big market scale potential of native pig production in the province. He reminded the farmers and other willing cooperators to engage in native pig farming with absolute determination and avoid being “ningas cogon”.

He proudly said to the farmers that this program has the right process which makes it a model of native pig propagation which should be adopted by everyone. Governor Velasco pledged that his administration will help and support this kind of effort. He ended saying that since our government invests efforts on such program, it is our obligation to help the country.

On-going construction of Artificial Insemination Laboratory in Marinduque State College-Torrijos Campus. Photo by Marinduque News

Dr. Arnolfo Monleon, Director of MSC Torrijos Campus, on the other hand, thanked Gov. Velasco for gracing the forum and pledging his support to the program. To further engage the audience in the discussion, he added that the Markaduke will engage the support industry like the Philippine Coconut Authority to establish a 20-hectare coconut demo farm within the campus. He also emphasized the material transfer agreement that will boost and establish the standard buying scheme.

Aside from this, the R&D program has now its Native Pig Information System headed by Dr. Randell Reginio that could help in the data management which is ready for implementation. The system will largely have in keeping data about the economically important traits of Markaduke, generating multiple ranges of reports and eventually be an edge in terms of initiating centralized monitoring. Although there are lots of plans and targets to be achieved but it will be too soon, he hopes that this centralized monitoring will reach the communities in the years to come as he is sincere in promoting the native pig farming.

Dr. Monleon added the other targets such as the meat processing center and slaughter house would eventually help in greater marketing potential of Markaduke.

Now that the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) has been served to the Local Government Unit of Torrijos involving the farmer cooperators, the next prospective partners will come from the Municipality of Santa Cruz with the same agreement. Soon enough, Markaduke is everywhere in the province of Marinduque with widened network of farmer cooperators.

One of the major accomplishments of the project is the ‘Native Pig Artificial Insemination Laboratory’. The team is currently on its improvement of semen collection and processing protocol adhering to the National Swine and Poultry Research and Development Center (NSPRDC) procedure. Other ongoing program activities include the optimized husbandry practices, strategic intervention to improve sow and litter management which are currently being evaluated.

The team is now eyeing the 83 million pesos proposal for the Philippine Native Pig Research and Development Center for Calabarzon and Mimaropa under the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) Program of the DOST which would be the 3rd program proposal of native pig to further uplift the native pig industry.

About the Author:

Desiree Anne Sto. Domingo is currently working as Education Research Assistant at the Office of the Vice President for Research, Development, Extension and Training in Marinduque State College.

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