‘If You Eat the Sows Before Taking the Offspring, You End Pig Production’

This year the province of Holguín it is barely expected to reach 2,566 tons of pork, compared to the 8,625 planned. (Granma)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 30 November 2021 — The state swine company Holpor, located in Holguín, has resurrected the recipe for liquid feed for pigs, which was discontinued since the Special Period, with the aim of making the animal’s meat cheaper and increasing its production. This year it is barely expected to reach 2,566 tons of the product, compared to the 8,625 planned, which is already very scarce for what the province demands

On Monday, Bismark Millán Maceo, current director of the state company, explained in the state newspaper Granma that the current price of dry feed is currently reaching 8,000 or 10,000 pesos per ton and that, even when it is the lowest cost, the figure reaches at least 3,000 pesos. Against this, the same amount of liquid feed will cost between 1,500 and 2,000 pesos according to the company’s calculations.

To make this food again, the company will have to start up the liquid feed plant, dismantled in the 90s due to the crisis of that time. Millán considers it sensible that production stopped at that time, but not that the equipment was dismantled and sold to other companies, including the recovery of raw materials.

However, both he and the general director of the company, Yosvel Sarmiento Peña, are in favor of the recovery of the industry, which is part of the projects that the Government has going out to 2030, since, in its opinion, it will lower costs of pork production.

The prices of dry feed have tripled compared to before the pandemic. As an alternative, Holpor is making feed with domestically produced corn, but the quantity falls short. “Currently, we are producing about 300 or 350 tons of dry feed per month, but we have the technological capacity to reach 2,000 in the same period.”

If the recovery plans for the liquid feed plant work, it will be possible to “have an alternative feed of high nutritional value for the pigs, basically obtained from the processing of agricultural crop residues and waste collected in social institutions, as well as in tourist facilities,” they explain.

The recovery of the State pig farms that were not exploited for a long time is one of more than 60 government initiatives to stimulate food production.

The company does not rule out being able to sell very young pre-fattening pigs to private producers who in the last year have suffered the interruption of the breeding and breeding chain due to the lack of food for the animals. Individual producers from Alquízar, in the province of Artemisa, explain to this newspaper that once the breeding line is cut it is very difficult to resume pig production.

“Once you eat the female before breeding her and taking her offspring, everything is over,” details El Pana, an Artemiseño producer who dismantled his pig pen more than a year ago due to lack of feed. The sale of young specimens by the State is already made to cooperatives and state farms but it is still under study to extend it to private ones.

Holpor intends to recover in Moa ten warehouses with a capacity for 5,000 heads that will be added to the 22 warehouses whose covers were restored at the Cuba Sí 1 fattening site in Holguín, which admits a similar number of animals.

The recovery of the liquid feed plant, a task that should be completed in 2023, will cost 7,000,000 pesos, although, they say, it will produce 95 tons per day. But the Communist Party newspaper already warns of the difficulties to finish it in the estimated term “because today only the battery of six tanks that was saved because they used it to store honey, as well as the laboratory premises, are in operating condition. It was preserved because they turned it into a semen center that, as is logical, will be relocated to other locations.”

For now, the process is in its initial phase and a boiler manufactured in Havana has been acquired, something rthe newspaper found remarkable, praising the ability to having been able to buy a Cuban product for its industry.

In addition, Holpor had set his sights on another possible place with similar characteristics: the old comprehensive pig farm in the municipality of Cueto. According to the company’s calculations, recovering this place, which was a victim of pillage after its closure, would allow the introduction of some 1,800 breeders, “which would be decisive for the meat increase plans.” Of course, part of them would not be precisely for Cubans, since the company plans to allocate an indeterminate amount to the “tourist pole that emerges in the Antilles.”

This plant would also be supplied with food waste from the hotel complexes in operation and the residues from the Cueto and Mayarí crops. But the Provincial Delegation of the Institute of Hydraulic Resources did not authorize it, considering that it would contaminate the Nipe dam, so Holpor is studying solutions to overcome that obstacle.


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