(Eagle News) — The Department of Agriculture bared plans to set up modern facilities for chicken meat processing that would reduce chicken meat exports by next year.
The DA said this to assure the country’s poultry raisers that it is looking into their concerns amid reported oversupply of chicken meat imports.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that there is also no move to limit local poultry production.
He said that the DA is even looking at policy reforms to “innovate and build needed infrastructure and processing facilities to modernize” the country’s poultry industry as well as other agriculture sectors.
Dar said that the agriculture department through the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) would even set up triple A slaughterhouses and other facilities to enable chicken meat deboning in the country.
He said that 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.”
At least 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 available more food products for Filipino consumers,” Dar said.
-Dar says chicken meat oversupply just temporary –
He said that the concern about oversupply of chicken due to importation raised by the United Broilers Raisers’ Association (UBRA) is being addressed.
Dar said that this situation is just “temporary.”
“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,” he said.
“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.
He said that the DA is committed to “continue working closely with the stakeholders of the country’s poultry industry to further enhance its productivity and competitiveness.”
-Assistance for local poultry-
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 major issues and concerns, the DA chief said.
“In fact, we mutually agreed to provide them financial assistance to help some of their members rise above the current crisis,” he said.
Dar said that the DA continues to “encourage not only the poultry industry stakeholders but also other key players in the food value chain to continuously elevate their game” amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” he said.
(Eagle News Service)