January 29, 2008


Philippine feed millers demand for sufficient availability of corn



In a recent dialogue with the Philippine agriculture department and feed millers, the National Corn Competitiveness Board (NCCB) said that there is a great need to produce more corn.


NCCB executive director Salvador Umengan said that the problem is not just poultry and swine producers finding feed prices too high, but the absence of corn itself. Umengan said that the programme for corn production, importation and distribution must be closely coordinated with feed producers' demand.


Philippines has an average of 1.2 million tonnes of corn supply shortage each year, and the gap is growing yearly, NCCB said.


In 2008, the Agriculture department has projected a gap of 1.5 million MT of corn.


Corn production, according to industry analysts, is hampered by difficulties in logistics, or delivery to feed millers.


The country's top corn producing regions are all situated in the southern Philippines. However, feed millers and commercial and backyard hog raisers are largely located in Luzon.


Aside from logistics, industry players also raised the need for post-harvest facilities such as dryers.


Corn's moisture content has to be reduced to 14 percent after harvesting to slow deterioration. After drying, it must be brought to dry storage facilities.


Agriculture secretary Arthur Yap confirmed that the National Agribusiness Corporation will build 50 corn-drying centers nationwide by the midyear.


Yap said that the cost for each center is around PHP30 million (US$737,191).