By Zac B. Sarian

Many people really love native lechon, according to Ferds Medina of Ecopig Development Corporation of Mabalacat, Pampanga, which specializes in raising the native black pigs for making lechon.

Medina said that by the middle of December 2018, they had already sold 500 native lechons. The problem is that there is a big demand but there is not enough supply of pigs. His company, according to Ferds, can sell as many as a few thousand pieces a month if there is enough supply. His company has institutional buyers who buy ten or more at a time, not only in Central Luzon, but also in Metro Manila.

Ferds, and his wife Emely, started raising native pigs and making them into lechon in 2010, and have developed a loyal clientele that would like to have a steady supply of cooked native lechon. To increase the availability of animals, they have come up with a joint venture scheme.

The partner invests P180,000 for which he or she will be allocated 20 sows or female breeders and two boars. Ecopig will take care of the animals in its own farm, providing the housing, feeds, labor, and other expenses. When the pigs give birth, Ecopig will also buy the piglets at prices agreed upon.

Piglets that weigh 5 to 7 kilos at weaning (two months), the price is P800; those weighing 8 to 11 kilos, P1,000; and those 12 kilos and above, P1,500. The investor will then immediately get 40 percent of the value of the piglets.

The breeders are usually retired when they are three years old after giving birth six times. If each breeder gave birth to 7 piglets every farrowing, that would mean 49 piglets per mother pig. Forty percent of that would be the share of the investor. Say the average price per piglet is P900, the total value would be P44,000. Forty percent of that would be P17,640 per head.

Multiply that by 20 (number of mother pigs) and that will give P352,800. Ecopig also gives P30,000 as goodwill money after the contract ends. So, the investor makes a reasonable profit.

Ferds, by the way, talked about the potential of raising native black pigs at the Agribiz Kapihan on December 1, 2018 at the Harbest Events Center in Taytay, Rizal.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s January 2019 issue.