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ASA-IM Sea Study Tour : A Bountiful Harvest of Feed and Animal Health Ideas from Thailand

Judging from the bountiful feed and animal health ideas generated and assimilated during the study trip to Bangkok, Thailand sponsored by the American Soybean Association-International Marketing Southeast Asia (ASA-IM SEA) from February 8 to March 6, 2008, it was indeed a resounding success.

Eighteen delegates, composed of Filipino commercial swine producers, feedmillers and technical consultants, attended the ASA-IM Seminar on Utilization of Soybean Meal, Full-fat Soybean Meal and Cassava in Animal Nutrition, visited cassava plantations and processing plants, and participated in a three-day Pig Focus Asia 2008 Symposium.
The Philippine Team to Thailand included Dr. Basilisa Pascual-Reas, technical manager and study tour coordinator, ASA-IM; Richard Ah, manager-owner, AH Farms, Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Victor Lopez, manager-owner, Lanatan Farm, Balayan, Batangas; Minton Quan, managerowner, King’s Farm, Tahanan Village, Paranaque; Antonio Pe, manager-owner, ATP Mabuhay Farm, Pandi, Bulacan; Francisco A. Ortiz, manager-owner, St. Francis, Nutrisource, Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas; Pedrito Kalaw, manager-owner, Kalaw Farm, Malvar, Batangas; Dr. Dennis H. Racelis, Swine Complex manager, Fil-Am Foods, Inc. (an Aboitiz company), Capaz, Tarlac; Florentino S. Balboa, farm manager, Marcela Farm, Tagbilaran City, Bohol; Rico B. Geron, general manager, Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative, Inc. (SIDCI), Sorosoro Ibaba, Batangas City; Dr. Jaime A. Sison, veterinary/ management consultant, Foremost Farms, Inc., Pasig City; Dr. Susie Mapayao, farm veterinarian, Robina Farms, San Miguel, Bulacan; Necitas Abelilia, animal nutritionist, Universal Robina Corporation; Olivia P. Gomez, assistant general manager, LIMCOMA Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Lipa City, Batangas; Peter J. Cheng, vice president, Bounty Fresh Foods, Inc., Caloocan City; Jerry Dean O. Concepcion, general manager, Jerbis Agricultural Supply, BF Homes, Paranaque City; Architect Norman B. Morales, general manager, Vision Feedmill, Batangas; and Dr. Javier P. Mateo, technical director, AgriSpecialist, Inc., Taguig, Metro Manila.

Assisting the ASA-IM study trip group were Opas Supamompun, Thailand representative; Timothy Loh Meng Kin, marketing director, SEA; and Teodoro M. Cortes, Jr., ASA country manager, Philippines.

The seminar on Utilization of SBM, FFSBM, and Cassava in Animal Nutrition, handled by Prof. Uthai Kanto, director of Suwanvajokkasikit Animal R&D Institute (SARDI) and Department of Animal Science, Kasetsart University, Kampaengsaen, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, was held at Conference Room A, 9th floor, The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand on February 29, 2008.

The topics presented during the daylong seminar by Prof. Uthai were Utilization of Full-fat Soybean Meal and Cassava in Swine Nutrition with References to Thailand Cassava, Utilization of SBM, FFSBM, and Soyhulls in Swine Diets, Least-Cost Ration Formula and Production, and Feed Manufacturing in Modern Animal Production Industry. An open forum followed each presentation.

One of the delegates, Francisco “Frank” A. Ortiz, assisted Prof. Uthai in summarizing the key points of cassava processing and utilization during the afternoon session.

Timothy Loh Meng Kin, ASA-SEA marketing director, made a global forecast for the week on feed grains and protein sources, emphasizing the factors affecting the feed price hikes worldwide (e.g. massive ethanol production in the USA, drought in some areas of the world).

To fully understand the mechanics of wet extrusion, the delegates, accompanied by Opas Supamompun, went to Unigro International Co. Ltd., a full-fat soybean and corn processing plant in Nakormpathom, Thailand in the morning of March 1, 2008.

Dr. Somkiat Trongwongsa, UICL sales manager, explained the principles and processes involved in the quality assurance and wet extrusion of soybean and corn. With eight locally fabricated wet extruders, the plant is capable of processing 5,000 to 7,000 tons of full-fat soybean meal a month. Branded as “Unipro Protein”, the quality full-fat soybean meal is described on the bag as “heat processed ground extruded full energy soybeans.”

Another Unigro product, the corn extrudes, dubbed as “Golden Corn” in the market, has a guaranteed proximate analysis of crude protein, 7.511 percent; crude fat (ether extract), 3-4 percent; and crude fiber, <2.75 percent.

As part of its marketing strategies, the Unigro plant strictly follows GMP and HACCP to ensure quality, safety, and traceability of the Unigro products.

The mycotoxin levels of the raw materials (soy beans and corn kernels) and finished products (FFSBM and corn extrudes) are being closely monitored, using thin-layer chromatography (TLC), on a monthly basis to protect end-users against mycotoxicosis, an immunosuppressive disease caused by mold metabolites (mycotoxins).

Both the manufacturing and expiry dates are clearly indicated on the 50kg P.E. feed bag for quality control purposes. The printed information will help domestic consumers determine the shelf life of the products.

In the afternoon, the Philippine team, accompanied by Prof. Uthai, visited two cassava plantations and a dry cassava chips/meal processing plant in the Province of Kampaengsaen, about 160 km from the vibrant city of Bangkok.

Thanks to ASA-IM’s initiatives, the delegates had the opportunity to attend the much-awaited and highly informative Pig Focus Asia 2008 held at the Conference Room, 2nd floor, The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel from March 3-5,2008.

Regarded as “Asia’s pig technical conference”, it was participated by pig producers, breeders, veterinarians, nutritionists, government personnel, academic and extension service staff, consultants and advisers, and anyone interested in modern pig production.

It featured recognized international experts, topical technical subjects, bound sets of conference papers, conference dinner and a unique networking opportunity.

During the keynote session, Kemin Industries President Christopher Nelson, a biochemist, was there to articulate on the “new paradigm” in animal nutrition: the use of nutricines. According to him, Kemin is “committed to improving the nutrition of the world with functional ingredients that deliver maximum efficacy through superior chemistry.” The application of nutricines in animal nutrition will be tackled by your feed informant in the forthcoming issues of Agriculture Magazine.

About 36 technical papers, covering animal nutrition, breeding and reproduction, health and quality pork products production, were presented during the three-day symposium. Three Filipino experts, Dr. Zoilo Lapus, Dr. Andres Bulay and Ms. Ma. Mercedes C. Buyoc, were among the top-rated speakers. Dr. Lapus, an international ve*rinary consultant, elucidated the interrelationship of genetics and health; Dr. Bulay, technical manager, Boehringer-Ingelheim Animal Health GmbH (Philippines) talked on ileitis control – the real benefits of vaccination; and Buyoc, animal nutritionist, Diamond V Mills (Philippines) focused on new feed additives in swine production, with emphasis on Diamond V XP Nutrilites.

To properly relax and enjoy Bangkok at night, the delegates joined tourists on March 2 in exploring the Chao Phraya River by chartered boat from Thai Si Phraya, a pier near the River City Shopping Complex. The Chao Phraya River provides memorable vignettes of traditional waterborne way-of-life that has remained essentially unchanged over the centuries.

To learn and see the worldwide innovations in animal nutrition, feedmilling and quality assurance, the Philippine delegates, together with other nationalities from the AsiaPacific region, visited Victam Asia 2008/Feed Ingredients and Additives Asia Pacific 2008 held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, along 60 New Pachadapisek Road, Bangkok on March 6, 2008.

Organized by and in association with Victam International BV of Nijkerk, The Netherlands, Victam Asia is considered as “the Asia Pacific’s premier and largest event for the processing of animal feed, petfood, aquafeed, and rice and grain processing industries.”

The following day, the Filipino delegates were enplaned to the Philippines, after a hectic and highly enlightening week-long study tour in Thailand.