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High Demand for Poultry and Meat Products Seen

by 5m Editor
15 January 2009, at 8:24am

THE PHILIPPINES - Provincial veterinarian, Romeo Magdato, foresees a high demand of poultry and meat products this year based on the demand/consumption reported last year.

In an interview, Dr Magdato assured the public that pork coming from Antique is certified free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and safe from Ebola Reston virus despite detection of said virus in few hogs in two farms in Bulacan and Pangasinan late last year,

"We continue to be supplier of poultry and meat products to Aklan particularly Boracay, Iloilo and some parts of Metro Manila because of the high demand from these areas", the source said.

The implementation of Piglet Restocking program of the Department of Agriculture has helped a lot in providing supply of pork not just for local consumption but also of other areas.

PROVET further reported that supply of poultry and livestock were affected by the devastation of typhoon Frank last year where hundred of stocks were killed/lost.

Dr Magdato encouraged poultry and livestock raisers even in backyards to double the production since the demand are increasing and prices are on the uptrend where hog cost 85-88 pesos (PHP) per kilo in current livestock market prices.

Meanwhile, the government has formed a local team to assist a visiting group of International human and animal health experts carry out a 10-day epidemiological investigation into the re-emergence of the Ebola Reston virus that was detected in Bulacan and Pangasinan said the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Department of Agiculture Secretary, Arthur Yap, has welcomed the arrival of the team of international animal and human health experts, saying the exhaustive tests it will carry out would help the government craft a national surveillance plan along with prevention and control programs to get rid of the Reston virus, the report from the Philippine Information Agency said.

Producers Warn of Production Drop

Business Mirror reports the United Broiler Raisers Association (Ubra) warning that producers will not be able to raise broiler production by 20 per cent this year if the problem in corn supply would persist.

In a press conference in Quezon City on Wednesday, Ubra president, Gregorio San Diego Jr., said the high cost of feeds caused by the shortage in corn could prompt a number of small poultry raisers to go out of business.

"We have already been losing money with our current cost of production. If the price of corn would not go down to its present levels, many [poultry raisers] would just shut down their farms to stop from bleeding," Mr San Diego told reporters.

He noted that the government had projected the sector would produce as much as 523,000 tonnes of chicken in 2008. But because of the losses they suffered, Ubra said it is doubtful whether the sector had produced that much last year.

At the average price of 13.32 pesos (PHP) for yellow corn registered in 2008, he noted that small poultry raisers are already losing as much as PHP 11 per kilo of liveweight chicken. As corn is now in short supply, prices have shot up to as much as PHP 26 per kilo in Bulacan trading stations.

Farmers Campaign for Duty-Free Corn Imports

As feedmillers and other end-users of corn turn to other feed materials, the cost of alternative raw materials also spiked in just a matter of days. Mr San Diego noted that feed wheat is now sold at PHP 20 per kilo, from PHP 13 per kilo registered just before the end of 2008.

"With that prices, we will suffer further losses. We might have to look for other sources of livelihood if these prices would remain," said Mr San Diego.

He noted that it would be easy for small poultry raisers to go out of business as the production cycle is shorter at 60 days.

As a short-term remedy, Ubra and the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NFHFI) has submitted another petition to the Department of Agriculture (DA) appealing to the government to allow the duty-free importation of 300,000 metric tons (MT) of yellow corn.

As a long-term solution, the Egg Board, Ubra and NFHFI pushed for the provision of affordable credit to encourage farmers to plant.

Ubra and NFHFI also advised the government against resorting to importing chicken and pork from other markets to ease the tightness in supply and high prices. Mr San Diego said this would further cause losses among those in the livestock and poultry sector.

Business Mirror reports figures provided by Ubra showed that as of November 2008, the Philippines imported close to 103,000 tonnes of pork products, including choice cuts. The country also imported 40,550 tonnes of chicken products up to November 2008.