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Farmers Must Cut Costs to Compete

by 5m Editor
3 April 2009, at 6:25am

PHILIPPINES - Farmers are studying the poultry industry in other Asian countries for ideas on cutting production costs.

Poultry farmers are to study the production process of leading chicken exporters in Southeast Asia to prepare the local industry for competition with low-tariff imports next year, an industry leader has told Business World Online.

Gregorio A. San Diego, Jr., chairman and president of the United Broilers and Raisers Association (UBRA), said his group is finalizing this week a research program to study the production process of Thailand and Malaysia.

"We need to know if we have a chance to survive. Imports [with lower tariffs] may flood our markets," Mr San Diego said.

Under the country's commitment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Area (AFTA) Common Effective Preferential Tariff scheme, the tariff rate on dressed and live chicken imports will be cut to five per cent next year from the current 20 per cent. Last year, it was 30 per cent.