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4.5 Problems Encountered

4.5.1 Hog Farm Sample Central Luzon

The survey team found it quite difficult to identify and locate large hog contract producers in Nueva Ecija. Most had either closed their farms or had significantly reduced the number of animals, and hence, could no longer be classified as such. For expediency and as a cost-cutting measure, all of the sample farms, albeit incomplete (i.e., 8 of the target 10 farms) had to come from the province of Bulacan - this means that none of the sample farms were taken form Nueva Ecija.

Most of the large farms were owned by farmers of Chinese origin. These producers were most secretive and unwilling to be interviewed. Apparently, their integrators did not allow them to share such information. This predicament lengthened the time the survey team needed to complete the interviews because replacement farms had to be found. In some cases, it was also a cause of cost overruns and failure to achieve the preset number of respondents within the designated timeframe. Southern Tagalog/South Luzon

As in Central Luzon, in Southern Tagalog/South Luzon there was great unwillingness among the commercial contract production farms to take part in the interviews (on orders of management). Some hog contract growers were quite reluctant and hesitant to divulge relevant information, particularly pertaining to prices received for their services. For this reason the targeted sample size was not met. Northern Mindanao (Bukidnon)

There were no smallholder contract production farms in Bukidnon. Further, interviews proved difficult on the commercial contract farms, which were larger than the expected norm of 100-1,000 heads. But a number turned out to be rather breeder/nursery/stock farms-not the normal grow-to-finish operations. The project team experienced extreme difficulty in obtaining permission to interview managers of large commercial farms.

There were also several instances when the respondents, especially those with very large farms, failed to keep their initial interview appointment with the research team after all the arrangements had been made. They were either out of the office, off the farm or had simply changed their minds and refused outright to be interviewed. Thus, a second round of appointments or new appointments had to be made with the associated delays and complications.

There was much less difficulty in dealing with the smallholder respondents, except for some isolated cases of data-padding or 'bloating' regarding broiler feed consumption. This could very well be attributable to difficulties in recall since smallholders do not usually keep farm records.

4.5.2 Broiler Farm Sample Central Luzon

As with the large hog contract producers, it proved difficult to identify and locate large independent commercial broiler farms in Nueva Ecija. Most had either closed or significantly reduced their number of birds. To complete the sample for Central Luzon, the team had to do all its surveys in Bulacan. Southern Tagalog

While there were small independent farms in Sourthern Tagalog, these were very small operations (e.g., 100 birds). There were also fewer large independent broiler farms than expected. Of the targeted 15, the team identified 12 but only 8 were obtained for interview.

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