By Sahlie P. Lacson

It’s all systems go for the 2019 Agrilink, Foodlink, and Aqualink as UNAHCO (Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company) and FRLD (Foundation for Resource Linkage and Development, Inc.) recently inked their agreement to once again be one of the event’s major sponsors.

For 20 consecutive years now, UNAHCO has been actively supporting FRLD in mounting the annual event. “I didn’t realize we have been in this relationship for 20 years now, but if you notice in the last 12 years, we have set up our involvement in Pigrolac Agrilink, sometimes known as ‘Pigrolink,’” enthused UNAHCO president and COO Ricardo C. Alba during the ceremony. Alba believes in FRLD’s mission to gather all agri, food, and aqua stakeholders under one roof to establish linkages and facilitate information and technology transfer for the growth of the agriculture and animal industries. On the other hand, this is also UNAHCO’s way of helping uplift the agri and animal industries and support the government’s drive to achieve food safety and security for all Filipinos.

Given the current situation we are in (as the presence of African swine fever (ASF) becomes a major concern among hog raisers in the country), Alba values the partnership among all sectors in order to properly address issues in agriculture such as this – and Agrilink is one example of such a needed partnership. “Partnership is very, very important especially in this situation where we are in today. Together with the heads of the different departments of UNAHCO, and with Roces’ recommendations on the situation today, we were able, not only to contain the situation, but we are [sure] that the industry will only suffer the least damage with the cooperation of different organizations and government agencies as well,” said Alba.

Turning 53 years on October 16, 2019, UNAHCO has remained steadfast in its commitment to help animal raisers, as well as agri farmers by providing them with quality feed, veterinary, and agricultural products that will help them improve their farm efficiency, increase productivity, profitability, and sustainability.

Since Agrilink is a highly effective venue to touch base with crop farmers, animal raisers, farm owners, dealers, veterinarians, and government technicians, UNAHCO, through its business units Pigrolac, Univet, and Sarimanok, was also able to meet existing and potential customers and discuss with them new products and product innovations adapted from the latest global trends and technology in farming and animal raising.

For FRLD’s part, however, Roces reciprocates the gratitude extended to them by UNAHCO as the company continuously helps FRLD achieve its purpose of providing trade guests and visitors with a harvest of knowledge in their exposure to new information, technology, and equipment during the three-day event.

“As FRLD, UNAHCO, and Agrilink push the line of improvement between ‘ani’ and ‘kita’ (harvest and income) by making available to the farmers and fisherfolks products, feeds, and equipment that they can choose from to improve their ‘ani’ and their ‘kita,’ we are appreciative of the efforts of UNAHCO to reach out to the smaller farmers, provide them technology, provide them some pointers on how to improve their ‘ani’ and their ‘kita,’ and we hope that this year, with the biggest Agrilink yet, we will be able to have enough people raise their ‘ani’ and their ‘kita’ and to make this more inclusive by having more farmers planting different crops also benefit from the efforts of Agrilink,” said Roces.

Roces also echoed the need to add more locations for future Agrilink events in order to bring the benefits of the trade fair to a larger audience, which Alba mentioned in his message: “FRLD is an organization that should be given the right recognition since it helps promote aqua, food production, and agriculture. [Maybe] we should have another Agrilink in Mindanao, especially because Mindanao is regarded as the agriculture basket of the country. We hope that we will have more FRLD in the future, although that would mean additional expense on our part, but this is one situation, one point in our country where the private sector should come in to support. I have seen that today, in our current situation, where the support of the private sector has been tapped. With that, I’d like to thank Mr. Roces for allowing UNAHCO to be a part of this biggest and most successful agriculture trade fair,” concluded Alba.

Golden itik eggstravaganza for itik-preneurs

Sarimanok Poultry, the poultry business unit of UNAHCO, will be staging the “Golden Itik Eggstravaganza” as its theme for its booth in this year’s Agrilink where it will showcase the various business opportunities in duck farming and livelihood related to its products.

Sarimanok will give emphasis on acquiring good genetics of itik stocks for an efficient and more profitable egg production. These stocks are the Itik Pinas itim, Itik Pinas Khaki, and Itik Pinas Kayumanggi. These are the improved breed of native Philippine mallard or Pateros duck on which the government has invested on through the National Swine Poultry Research and Development Center (NSPDC).

Diverse options for the itik farmer who wishes to gain more profits along the value chain will also be presented by Sarimanok such as balut processing, salted egg processing, and fried itik business. A Kapihan and Sarimanukan seminar at the Amorsolo Room on October 5 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, with the title “Hitik na Hitik Golden Egg Business Opportunities sa Pag-Iitik” will be conducted by Dr. Rene C. Santiago, Center Chief IV of the Bureau of Animal Industry, and Rene C. Ramos, an accredited breeder of Itik Pinas.

Likewise, two more seminars will be conducted by Pigrolac/Univet: first is on Biosecurity Measures for the Control of Pathogens, and the second is on “Pig Nutrition and Management to Promote Immunity” on October 3, from 1 to 3 pm at the Luna Room (2 nd floor), with swine nutrition expert Dr. James C. Peters of Akey as resource speaker.

The 26th Agrilink, Foodlink, and Aqualink will be held from October 3 to 5 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. For free seminar participation, visitors can pre-register their attendance through www.agrilink.org, or its official Facebook page at facebook.com/agrilinkPH.