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Profitable pork: local demand easily outstrips production

by 5m Editor
29 October 2007, at 9:53am

HAWAII - Glenn Teves and University of Hawaii-Manoa Swine Specialist Halina Zaleski attempted to address the problems of pig production on Molokai at a meeting last week.

Though poorly attended, the event was a public forum for the needs of local pig farmers. Issues addressed ranged from feed to housing to the lack of veterinary aid on the island. A class following the forum educated participants on the care of domestic pigs destined for the table.

Zaleski said that the forum and class were organized by the State because, "The way this works is in the spring, the legislature discovered that Hawaiian dairy and poultry industries were disappearing. Members of the legislature passed a feed subsidy bill, that would pay half the cost of feed, without transportation costs, as a direct subsidy for two years."

The Hawaiian Pork Industry Association noticed the bill and advocated their industry for the same consideration; they were added to the bill for the subsidy. Eventually, the program started to run out of money. The government decided to cut off farmers who raised less than 50 sows so that the program could benefit the big growers. Most islands don't have big growers, and the local industry depends on home-raised pigs, farms with fewer than 20 sows. The legislature renewed the subsidy for two years anyway, and expects a report from UH to discussing potential long-term solutions for self-sustaining pork in Hawaii by the end of the month. Molokai was the last island to be visited. Zaleski came to the meeting to hear those solutions straight from Molokai's farmers.

Source: MolokaiTimes

5m Editor