August 7, 2008

Tax-free feed grain imports for Philippine swine production sought

A lawmaker in the Philippines has filed a resolution seeking to impose non-duty on imported feed ingredients and farm equipment for the swine industry to address the incessant rise of meat and poultry prices due to high production costs.

Representative Rufus Rodriguez of the 2nd District, Cagayan de Oro said House Bill 4601 provides zero tariffs on feed ingredients and farm equipment to assist the country's hog raisers.

Rodriguez particularly noted the increasing prices of corn and soy, which are used for making animal feeds, considering that 65 to 70 percent of the industry's production cost.

He said aside from the high costs of animal feeds, hog raisers could not cope with other production expenses such as renovating the pens, building sprinkling systems, and improving the ventilation to prevent heat stroke and diseases among the hogs caused by intense heat.

Rodriguez is urging the government to intervene immediately by providing better breeds as well as cheaper and more readily available corn feeds.

According to Rodriguez, countries such as China, the United States and parts of the European Union are subsidizing hog raisers to increase their production.

But it is contrary here in the Philippines, said Rodriguez, as high taxes are imposed on hog raisers and strictly regulated by several government agencies.

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