Organic Lechon In Dagupan City
One unique project that is being pursued in Dagupan City is the production of organically grown pigs for lechon making. Earlier this year, we witnessed the piglets that were raised for the Lechon Festival staged by the city government in an effort to attract more tourists to the city.
It is a pet project of Mayor Ben Lim, according to Emmanuel Bamba, a special assistant to the mayor, whom we met at the launching for the search for outstanding farmers under the auspices of Jaycees International and Universal Harvester.
Emmy revealed that the organic lechon project is being expanded. He said that two more barangays are now participating in the program. Of course, this is not just for the promotion of tourism. It is also a means of providing livelihood to the families in the barangays.
In the initial trial, a few cooperators were engaged to raise the piglets to lechon size in Brgy. Salisay. One of the first cooperators was Kagawad Virgilio Aquino who was given 10 piglets that weighed 15 to 18 kilos. Aside from the piglets, he was also given feeds enough to nurture the animals for 21 days. By that time the piglets weighed 30 kilos, worth P4,200 each or P42,000 for the 10 pigs.
The cooperators raised the pigs in their own pig pens that have one meter deep of sawdust and rice hull for flooring instead of cement. This is the way organically grown pigs are raised. They are also fed with commercial feed that does not contain any antibiotics.
For taking care of the 10 piglets for 21 days, the cooperators made about P5,000 in gross profit. That’s not so bad, considering that the cooperator only attended to the animals a few hours each day.
The pigs were made into lechon for the Dagupan Lechon Festival last April. Emmy Bamba swears that the lechon made of the organically raised pigs were lean and very tasty.
It is envisioned that with more and more families engaged in raising organically raised pigs for lechon, Dagupan will eventually become famous as the home of organic lechon. It could be a sure attraction for tourists as well as for the native Dagupeños.
The raisers could be private individuals who could be financing their own organic pig projects for the lechon market. What’s good about producing pigs for lechon is that the pigs don’t consume a lot of feeds before they are brought to the market.
One possibility is to come up with a restaurant specializing in organic lechon where people can go to dine or to order some for bringing home.
By Zac B. Sarian