The Department of Agriculture (DA) commits to continue working closely with the country’s poultry industry to enhance its productivity and competitiveness further.
Amid issues raised by the United Broilers Raisers’ Association (UBRA), Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the DA fully understands the oversupply currently experienced by the industry.
“We believe the situation is temporary and brought about mainly by the contraction of market demand due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) measures implemented by the government to contain the threat of COVID 19 pandemic,” Secretary Dar said.
The DA through its concerned units and agencies — particularly the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS), Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) — are in constant talks with UBRA even before the Covid-19 pandemic to help them resolve significant issues and concerns, the DA chief said.
“We mutually agreed to provide them financial assistance to help some of their members rise above the current crisis,” Secretary Dar said.
“Besides, the DA through the NMIS will establish in 2021 more triple AAA slaughterhouses, including a facility to produce mechanically-deboned meat or MDM to reduce imports of said commodity,” he added.
The bulk or 70 percent of the country’s poultry imports comprise of MDM, offals, and chicken skin, which are not produced in bulk and consolidated locally.
“We should also consider balancing the need of the meat processing sector that makes more food products for Filipino consumers,” he added.
“Once again, we wish to reiterate that we did not ask UBRA nor the local poultry industry to limit their production,” the DA chief said.
“We continue to encourage not only the poultry industry stakeholders but also other key players in the food value chain to elevate their game continuously. Our role of ensuring adequate, accessible, and affordable food for our countrymen pushes us into national limelight due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Secretary Dar said.
“In all, we will institute policy reforms, continue to innovate, and build needed infrastructure and processing facilities to modernize not only the country’s poultry industry but also the entire agriculture and fishery sector, making it more productive, resilient and globally-competitive,” the DA chief concluded.